Monday, October 13, 2008

A cure for Depression?

Nifty article here by Steve Almond (author of Candyfreak, which I highly recommend) on "recession gardens" (soon to be upgraded to "depression gardens" if Sarah Palin is to be believed -- though I'd argue she isn't to be believed about much of anything).

The Admiral and I were just talking yesterday about whether people could (or *would*) grow enough food in their gardens to make a dent in their monthly grocery expenditures. I was thinking no, because I've been discouraged this year by the ratio of effort to yield in our own garden (we got some great stuff out of it, but not in large quantities, and lots of stuff either never sprouted or got eaten by birds and/or grasshoppers). It was so hot this summer that we had to water the garden every day, and even then some things clearly did not get enough water, and if we ever forgot or watered too late, things died. All things considered, though, we were pretty on top of things, so I was thinking that others who weren't willing to be as diligent about the garden or didn't know as much about growing stuff as we did (which admittedly isn't a ton, though I do pretty well with houseplants when I apply myself) would fare even worse.

But Almond's story is encouraging. He didn't know anything about gardening, but he was motivated by the high cost of groceries to research it and to get help and advice from others who do know about gardening to get his garden going. In the end, the garden was highly successful and yielded a whole lot of good stuff. He did admit that his house is on land that used to be farmland. But still, with enough compost and whatnot, anybody's yard ought to be able to produce *something*. So now I'm inspired. I'm thinking that next time we just need to (a) rent a rototiller, (b) install a drip system (we never got around to setting up our soaker hose, but people tell me they don't work that great anyway), (c) put up some nets around our tomatoes and maybe over the seeds to keep the birds out, and (d) think of some non-poisonous way to get rid of those damn grasshoppers.


Brother Seamus said...

I was pretty excited by what we *did* get from our very modest plot (some nice salad greens and some real tasty tomatoes--thanks for the help, mother-of-fatosphere!)...I suppose that's because I'm so used to not growing any of my own food...I'm looking forward to doing better next year!

Anonymous said...

Article you should check out.