by Scott Smith
I’ve been thinking about something Celeste said about how most people live in the city and don’t have access to a space in which to garden and provide some of their own food which made me think of Lacy and her guerrilla gardening. She and her neighbor took over a 12 X 12 spot in a HUGE median strip where they grew lettuces and broccoli amongst the perennials and annuals that helped to satisfy local code. Now, imagine if they had filled that entire median with greens. It might be enough for the neighborhood. The neighborhood would be eating fresher (therefore more nutritious) food and a lot of natural resources would be saved by avoiding centralized planting and transporting of the food. If all the medians in that particular town were used for food production who knows how many people could be fed or how many natural resources could be saved?
Now, I know, that area actually looks fairly suburban and suburbanites tend to at least have backyards, so how about a truly downtown-big-city example? How about Hong Kong?
Currently in Hong Kong there are many promoters of “urban gardening.” Arthur van Langenberg (pictured above) wrote a book called Urban Gardening ([possibly] where the term was coined). Everything you see in that picture has been grown on top of a concrete slab that has been filled in with soil. van Langenberg is even able to grow his own fruit trees in large troughs. The idea of urban gardening has caught on so well in a city filled with people who remember what it was like to have a backyard that architects are starting to incorporate places for plants into their blueprints. They are finding that when people plant their balconies chock full it is actually cooling the inside of their homes which means fewer resources used to keep their homes cool in Hong Kong’s tropical climate which equals an economic savings on top of the lower impact on the environment.
So, I really do think that if enough people started growing their own food, even in the city, trading surplus with neighbors and visiting farmers markets it could be a huge step to decentralizing our food system. And hey, if you need patriotism as an excuse, think how much harder it would be for the terrorists to contaminate our entire food system if it’s not all in one place.
The Craftsman garden tractor (thanks PB!) has a new tire on the old rim. Bought the tire at the pitiful Family Farm store in Battle Creek, and then had it mounted on the rim at Discount Tire in Richland. The Discount Tire guy did mention they sold those tires. Next time, I’ll save time and money.
Taking off the rim wasn’t much trouble at all. It doesn’t use lug nuts, but a key and pin deal. My father, Robinson’s father and the Sears manual all said not to loose the key. I left the key in place on the axle. I came back to find my key gone. Apparently, one of the chickens pecked at it. I found it not too far from the Craftsman. Some how I should have known not to leave it on the axle.
Not much more mowing was done. A storm rolled in.
This morning, feeling pretty good about things, Laura and I walked the dogs together. Upon our return, we heard the well pump running. The motor’s sound was higher. I didn’t think much of it and ran an errand. I came back and it was still running.
Yin-yang thing — Karmic balance: working garden tractor – non-functioning well.
Never, ever screw-up in front of retired folks.
My parents are building a small house in Yuma, Arizona. This, like so many former Chicagoans, is where they plan to spend their winters. Their community is full of retirees, so when the developers decided to roll in with some tall palm trees, the community came out to watch the process.
Dena, that would be my mother, decided to bring her camera and take these lovely snaps of the tree besting the crane.
I wish she had taken photos of the on-lookers. I wish she had a video camera. This would have been a sweet YouTube video.
I understand the local news came, but didn’t stay long. They got bored. Not those seniors, though. They know good afternoon t.v. when they see it.
Visited a Kioti dealer in Valparaiso yesterday. $15k for a compact tractor with bucket, box blade and rotary cutter. Ouch. I was thinking of driving to a Kubota dealer in Michigan. If I did, I suspect it would be to abuse my self: window shopping for what I should not buy.
I feel caught between a rock and 9.5 acres. How do I manage this much property without a tractor? Robinson’s farm girl friends (she makes a lot of friends especially online ones) were outraged that we were considering a new tractor. I guess people get romantic about old tractors. I don’t want to spend my time fixing a tractor. I want to mow, level and move dirt. Also, I’d like to get rid of the wasps in the block out building — I suppose a tractor would only help me level the building.
I guess my other option is to use my city lot tools. My tiller, trimmer and mower look silly in the barn.
In the end, I suppose, we’ll do what’s needed first — fencing (2.5 acres costs $4k).