"The vegetable garden, it turns out, is a ripening political force: the best response to the energy crisis, the climate crisis, the obesity crisis, the family crisis and the financial crisis." – Dominique Browning, NY Times
I think the author of this quote may have been a little sarcastic when he made this comment. It was part of a book review of a popular book about vegetable gardening, but I also think the author believes, as I do, that there is some element of truth in what he is saying.
At the very least it’s hard to argue that vegetable gardening wouldn’t help, on some level, with several of these issues.
Energy crisis: by growing your own vegetables you reduce your need for trucked-in vegetables from other states or countries not to mention saving your own gas by not having to run up to the store so often.
Climate crisis: see above. In addition to “climate crisis” I would add that organic vegetable gardening can also help with the environmental crisis by reducing the carbon footprint.
Obesity crisis: eat a goddamn carrot once in a while! (Courtesy of The Onion)
Family crisis: maybe less obvious how vegetable gardening addresses this issue, but if you get the family involved it couldn’t hurt. I know I have cherished my time in the garden with my daughter and we have fun talking like Bugs Bunny when we eat our lady finger carrots.
Financial crisis: you can buy a packet of lettuce seeds for $1.79 or you can buy 25 heads of lettuce for $50 (or whatever the going rate is these days).
I'm still a rookie when it comes to growing my own food. I've tried my hand at some of the usual suspects (tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, etc.) but this was my first spring trying my hand at broccoli, lettuce and carrots. I was pretty successful, I think. And I'm encouraged to keep at it with some summer crops that I hope to get planted out this weekend before the weather heats up.