Thursday, June 13, 2013
A Wartime Guide
Doreen Wallace is a new author to me. I discovered this little gem at the National Archives when I was there in April. The Archives has a fascinating exhibit on how the government impacts food supplies; while much of the exhibit focused on wartime gardening, it called to mind how important it is that we continue to garden and grow as much of our food as we can.
I think about this little garden in Okinawa:
This is looking down from The Airman family's balcony. You can see the little bit of earth turned up near the center of the photo and the emerging garden in front of it. Every day at the same time, this little man shuffled out with his shovel and dug for 30 minutes. I timed him and watched (wonder what he would think about being stalked by an old American woman??) him carefully turned every shovelful under as he methodically worked his way back and forth through the garden. By the end of the week, he had turned the entire plot and was planting. Everywhere we went, there were lush gardens -- even on patios and porches. When the tide went out, people would be in the tidal basins with hand woven baskets gathering seaweed and shellfish for dinner. No wonder they live so long; they are close to the Earth and eat what she provides without over processing.
This is all to say that I am enjoying the book; it is written tongue-in-cheek about the City Farmers and their experiments with gardening; and, it has many references to the War, which was just starting, in England in 1940, which displays the heavy awareness of the severity of the coming War. The author reminds her reader that while we want to believe The Government will care for our needs, ultimately it is up to each of us to do our part. Although the message is more than 70 years old, it is still true today. We should garden for our needs as much as we can. Instead of lush yards, what if we grew food? We'd be richer, healthier, and have a better quality of life as a result. All the more reason to get our hands dirty....