Victory Gardens for all?

THE FUN TOPIC of the day/week/month/year is the new interest in home gardening. This could be YOU!

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Even the White House is getting in on the act. Mrs. Obama and some school children broke ground last week for the White House Vegetable Garden. So much has been written about food safety, sustainability, availability, and self-sufficiency in a the recession…I won’t bore you by repeating it here. Every news channel, newspaper, blog, radio program, internet site is on board.

In the world of old-timey gardeners (by that, I mean me, and anyone who has been gardening the last few years/decades), one of the interesting questions is this: “Will the newbies be bit by the bug?”

It hasn’t been lookin’ good of late. In the last five years, the numbers of attendees at garden shows everywhere have been declining, in some cases, precipitously. Retail nurseries have been scratching their collective heads, conducting expensive surveys of thirty-somethings, and trying to figure out how to get Gen X to come play in the dirt. Who knew it would be this nation’s disgraceful financial disaster that would ultimately bring folks back down to earth?

I am hopeful. We all started somewhere, and most of my gardening pals began gardening at their parents’ or grandparents’ knees. We gained, through osmosis and love, an appreciation of beautiful flowers, a taste for home grown vegetables, and a desire to try our hands at gardening. When you cut your first bouquet of flowers, grown from a perennial starts; or taste your first warm tomato while still standing in the garden, a tomato, grown from seed or seedling; or prepared a salad for yourself and family from your lettuce patch, I don’t think there’s any going back. For me, home grown tomatoes are not an option.

And, if you can’t grow it all yourself, not to worry. I buy my pumpkins and big squash at the farmer’s market because I don’t have room for them in my city garden. I buy corn on the cob from the family that parks their truck on State Street. I belong to a CSA.

While I am waiting for the weather to warm up enough to plant my peas and spuds, I’ve been trying to keep up with all the writing on the new Victory Gardens. I will be expanding my veg garden right into the center of my perennial borders. My bountiful beautiful borders.

So, while you are waiting to plant your tomato seeds, waiting to see the first peas break through, or waiting for the ground to thaw, enjoy a walk through the garden of nostalgic and inspirational posters.

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Better yet, make a poster featuring you and your new Victory Garden.