San Diegans Find Benefits in Growing Their Own Food
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tom Fudge : Remember the Victory Garden? Unless you're over the age of 70 you almost certainly do not. But Victory Gardens were a poweful movement in this country during World War II. The government told citizens to plant victory gardens to grow some of their own food. That was so canned and commercial food could be preserved for use by our troops overseas.
Victory Gardens provided an estimated 40 percent of the produce Americans ate during WWII. Not bad. We could be doing that today, and maybe we should, given the high prices we're seeing at the grocery store. The notion of urban gardening is attractive for a lot of reasons. When you grow your own food, you save money and you help the environment because less food has to be trucked to you from far away. You probably also save water by replacing that grass in your lawn that requires so much water to keep it green.
The trick is convincing people to do it. We did it during the war, by telling people it would benefit our boys in the war zone. But today, people claim to be too busy, and very few people have the skills or inclination to get into gardening. So today, we're going to be talking about growing food at home, or in community gardens.
- Paul Maschka , an urban farmer who runs the education program for San Diego Food Not Lawns .
- Barry Logan , owner of La Milpa Organica Farm in Escondido.
- Diane Hollister , a master gardener/composter who volunteers for the Solana Center's composting program .
Paul Maschka’s Top 10 Food Security Actions
1) Get involved with a local food group:
2) Learn to grow food. Reconnect to the soil where all life on Earth is intertwined.
Camp Stevens Organic Gardening Program , Julian.
California Rare Fruit Growers , San Diego Chapter.
3) Reduce or replace your lawn. Don’t rip it out! Plant (food) or mulch over it.
The result will be reduced water consumption, reduced pollution and increased harvest.
4) Compost / worm bin or both.
Anything that goes in the garbage disposal can go in to compost. About 25% of our residential waste can be composted at home and the nutrients will feed the beneficial soil microbes that are the true builder of fertile soil.
5) Mulch your gardens.
This will conserve water, create a habitat for beneficial micro organisms, control weeds and stops erosion. Visit the City of San Diego's Greenery .
6) Buy local and organic.
7) Store water in the soil.
Adding compost will increase the water holding capacity of your soil many times over. Prevent run-off allow water to absorb into your soil where it will stay for future use.
8) Spend more time in the kitchen.
Make something your Grandmother made, can vegetables or jam. Look up anything on The Mother Earth N ews.
9) Eat lower on the food chain.
Leaning toward a vegetarian diet has countless benefits to our personal health and the health of our planet.
10) Plant a fruit or vegetable garden with children.
Learn with them where our food really comes from and the importance of the knowledge.