Jeremy can be kind of a pack rat and collector of odd things. (Odd to some people anyway!).
A week or two ago I came home to discover this tiny little wooden crate. Jeremy had seen it at the co-op and it was up for grabs. So of course he grabbed it.
I don't think he had any particular plans or ideas in mind for it. Maybe some sort of storage? I looked at it (it was on its side in the garage at the time) and thought it would make a cute little raised bed. (I was probably inspired a bit after learning about a local guy's salad tables.)
So last Wednesday night, after it had already gotten dark, Jeremy settled the crate right outside the steps, made sure it was level, and put some plastic in it to keep the dirt in and water off the sides (so it will last a bit longer).
He spread some rock in the bottom to help with drainage.
Then he dumped in dirt and composted manure.
I think it was the next day when he planted our little lettuces and endive in the bed.
So we'll see how this little experiment goes.
Why did we do this? Because we could. =)
Why do we do any of this? Why do we stay up past 10pm planting cranberries and blueberries? What makes us get up in the morning? Why are we planting out our yard in as many edible plants as possible?
I guess you could say we're part of a movement. A movement that has been going on for a couple years (or decades depending on how you look at it) and seems to be gaining more and more momentum. We are people who are fed up with, disgusted with, even angered by the corporate, monolithic agriculture business in the US (and the world) today. We want an end to confined-animal feeding operations (CAFOs). We want an end to chickens "living" in battery cages in massive warehouses. We want an end to monoculture - acres and acres and acres of one kind of crop. We don't want any genetically modified food whatsoever. We want to put a stop to the massive amounts of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, drugs, antibiotics and other garbage that is pumped into our foods on a regular basis. We want big agri-business gone and family farms back. We want our food to be grown organically and locally. Hey, food has been grown without all this garbage for thousands of years! All that garbage may have increased productivity for awhile, but it's killing our soil, killing our farms, killing us.
We garden/farm because we want to know where our food comes from. We want to know our food is wholesome and not full of chemicals. We take pleasure in eating a tomato or an egg or a whole meal that came straight from our backyard. We think vegetables, fruits, and flowers are way (way!) better than a totally useless lawn. Our diverse yard provides food for birds, bees, and butterflies. I feel like our yard (garden/farm) is an integral part of a system and it is a system in itself. It is not an island.
We are one of many, many people doing this right in the middle of the city to show that it can be done, it should be done! We have no need to disconnect from civilization and move out to the country. We have every need to stay put, stay connected, live as examples, and teach our relatives, friends, neighbors, and strangers about food - growing it and eating it.
Friends, and lurkers, we in America need to reclaim an interest in food. Demand to know where your food comes from. Demand to know what is in your food. Get to know your farmers and the people who make the food you eat. Spend more money on good quality food, less money on [movies/gas/games/cars/toys/takeout/clothes/whatever!] Learn how to cook. Eat meals together with your family at the kitchen table (without the TV on).
Hmm, well, I guess that's about all I've got to say about that...for now...