Go green, plant a garden
Our flag might be red, white and blue, but green has become Americas favorite color.
Green has blossomed from a wee sprout of a vocabulary word to an impressive flowering tree of ideas. Youve got your greenback dollars and greenhorn newcomers. There are ecological initiatives like Greenpeace supported by the political Green Party, which is fighting to stop the Greenhouse Effect. And countless writers continue to borrow the phrase “The Greening of…” from the original title of Charles Reichs popular 1960s counterculture book, “The Greening of America.” Now were being told to think green, act green, buy green. Have I made my point? So go plant a garden!
Gardening, in all shades of green, is suddenly huge. Magazine and news articles, TV gardening programs and hundreds of blogs, with headings like “You Grow, Girl!” have sprouted like corn seeds on mega doses of Miracle Gro. Take a fresh look around at local gardens, neighborhood yards, and balcony window boxes. After the long winter, we can feast on an amazing variety of blooms, breathe in the lush plantings, and marvel at the long lines anywhere plants or gardening supplies are sold.
Joni Mitchell wrote, “Weve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” Well, I dont think there was much gardening going on at Woodstock but “yeah, man, grow your own, were ready for the country,” was definitely a mantra for the times. The more things change…
Maybe its the sour economy thats driving so many of us back to nature. Or maybe its because gardening is a human activity that has so many great benefits. The fact is that there is a documented revival of small farms and farmers markets, grassroots efforts across the country to set aside land for more community gardens and lots of individuals developing their green thumbs by taking classes, buying seeds and plants, digging their own backyard garden plots.
A recent article in Business Week talks about “locavores,” local food proponents, and how they are being aided by the Governments latest version of the Farm Bill. The article reports that $2.3 billion is being set aside for small farmers to grow specialty crops like eggplant, strawberries and salad greens, an increase from 100 million in the previous Farm Bill. The number of Farmers Markets around the country is up 50 percent from just five years ago. Its extreme consumerism. More than ever we want to know where the food is coming from and we want fair prices.
Likewise, community gardens are all the rage, bringing people together in a positive way. Growing your own vegetables is a great return on your investment. City folk gardeners pay a small fee for their plots, but 10 cents spent on seeds can yield about a dollars worth of produce. Burpee seed packet sales are soaring and the Park Seed Company catalogue has been referred to as the gardeners Bible.
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