Food Self Reliance

grow food


Rob Jones dropped by this evening and answered a question we’ve been wrestling with for months. He was in town for Catherine’s birthday, planned to sleep out in the field beyond our houses and stopped by Camelina to visit.

For some time now, Bob has been searching for the right words to bring the concept of Victory Gardens into the current decade. Back in their day, Victory Gardens signified Yankee ingenuity, self-reliance, pride and plenty in a world of uncertainty.

In today’s uncertain world, many of us are returning to a reality where tomatoes grow on vines outside the kitchen door rather than on super market shelves. Most people can understand why it’s better to step outside and pluck fruit from the vine than it is to hop in the car and drive to the store to fetch tomatoes that likely traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles. Few know that it can also be easier.

When Rob came over, the three of us moved flats of heirloom tomato seedlings into the house. These are plants that Bob is growing from seeds he saved from last year’s tomato crop. Next, Bob took Rob outside to look at the mushroom logs they’d plugged months ago.

Then we settled into the living room and got caught up. Rob brought up food-related concepts such as community gardens, crop mobs and economic solidarity. Bob talked about the bio-intensive gardening class he’s teaching. They peeked at the Petri dishes of mycelium growing in one of our spare bedrooms.

And before we knew it, the nugget we’ve been seeking dropped out of Rob’s mouth: grow food – a simple concept, a meme to spread, a path towards economic independence. Grow food sounds a whole lot less intimidating than growing a garden. Anyone can grow food anywhere with any kind of process. Step outside and plant a seed and before you know it, you are growing food!

So we printed up some stickers and cut them out with scissors. Link tapped on the window and came in to collect Rob because it was time to go make their beds out in the field. But first we snapped a photo of them with a handful of memes for a new path towards economic solidarity.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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