My interest in my yard conversion really got going when we bought this house and started pricing the sprinkler system, sod, and maintence costs for a yard of grass. Now, being that water is only becoming more precious of a resource in California I couldn't justify wasting that much water to keep a mat of plants not suited to this climate alive. Heck, I'm going to water it it had better be colorful, edible, or both. Plus produce prices keep going up, which gets frutrating. I am not going ot feed my family to cheap processed crap that has next to no nutritional value because its cheap, I can't do that anymore. Organic produce is even more pricy, plus honestly not all "organic" farms are what I consider organic.
In my front yard I was more "flashy" and put in annuals and bulbs, mainly since we have a 50 ft mulberry that keeps the north facing yard cooler and more moist then the very sunny backyard. Its a nice expanse of grass and flowers to sit on the porch and admire while the kids play ball. It also has nice bcurb appeal, the backyard is my secret hideaway, even if its not all that imporessive right now. I look at the marked off beds and paths, the up turned dirt, the scattered tools and stakes and hoses, and I see beautiful rows of bright green salad greens, re tomatos, large handsome squashes and long vines. I have the gardening bug. Big time.
FoodShed planet has kicked off their Victory Garden Drive 2008 : "Declare victory against lack of control over the quality of your food! Join hands and hoes across our FoodShed Planet to create and inspire new organic gardens. Goal: 2 MILLION new organic gardens in 2008! Spread the manure--and spread the word!" .
It appears by starting my Garden ( and this blog) I've done exactly this without knowing it. I love it when I get stuff done I didn't intend to, makes me feel extra spiffy.
Even cooler University of California has a Victory Grower program going as well...man, UCs weren't known for their collective gardening information when I was picking out a college, now that I'm seriously looking at going back its starting to seem appealing to do something agriculture related.
I was honestly wondering if after 9/11 "victory gardens" would become in vogue again- I mean, if we could rename our food to "freedom fries" and "freedom toast" surely we could take on a bit of personally responsibility and grow a salad?
Anyhow, I'm really loving gardening as a artistic expression, a political statement, a personal goal, and a healthy lifestyle element.