If you are reading this, you are checking out what's going on with Victory! Sometimes there's a lot and sometimes there's not. I'm hoping that along the way; someone will be inspired or inspire me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Victory V Lee: Take Your Shovel on the Road

Victory V Lee: Take Your Shovel on the Road

Take Your Shovel on the Road

Hello Garden Friends,
I think I'm just coming up for a bit of air after the whirlwind 350 Garden Challenge. I'm jazzed about the response received from so many people around the world that are interested in growing food at home. We've just scratched the surface and will continue the movement to get more folks in their garden space to grow food.

Some of our volunteers last weekend just couldn't wait another weekend before getting into their gardens and having Garden Work Parties. We have a couple of them in Berkeley CA this coming weekend that will be huge learning labs and a lot of fun. These hosts are serious about healthy eating. 

This is Bonnie's Back 40x40
There will be a Garden Work Party here this weekend and maybe again soon!

We have projects happening tomorrow and beyond to continue reaching out to gardeners with and without gardens including informational and support meetings for neighbors that want to organize other neighbors in walking distance to grow food at home and work together in their garden space. We call these groups of food growers Victory Garden Networks.

As I visited many of the Garden Work Parties last weekend; I thought about the days in college that I didn't have garden space to grow food. I would grow herbs in the windowsill although it didn't get great sun; but I did get some herbs. Later, I moved to a small townhouse and I planted tomatoes in a pot and placed them on my little 4x3 foot porch :) We couldn't open the screen door all the way because of the tomato plant. That inconvenience was well worth the trouble! :) I planted one zucchini plant and a couple of corn plants (I just love corn's scientific name: Zea Mays) next to the stairs in the back (in about the same amount of space as the front porch size) and made zucchini bread for days! Hmmm ... I'm now a champion Zucchini Bread maker in my own mind.
Claire's Small Space Garden will reap Large Benefits

All the while, I just felt I was missing something. And after all of these years, it occurred to me - If I would have had the opportunity to go to someone's garden to help them grow food; I would have been satisfied. Sure, I got some of my neighbors together to grow food. They had the same small amount of space that I did. I'd tell them about how to grow their food; but with such small space; there was barely the need for one person to maintain the 'garden.' :) If I'd just had the opportunity to go to someone's backyard and help them garden. WoW! That would have been such a treat.
Alice's Frontyard Menagerie with Volunteers ... many are hidden :)

A new proud gardener holding the taproot of a Lemon Sorrel - Who knew we had to dig so deep!
And, learned to use garden tools to prune a pathway to the raised bed

And, I believe that the volunteers without their own garden space (and there are many) that come out to help others in their gardens are very special people. They are satisfied and fulfilled with doing the weed work; removing plants; helping fruit trees to breathe around their drip line; prune unruly fruit trees, herbs, and other plants in the garden. Their reward is knowing that they are sharing! That's the Victory Garden spirit. And, there are volunteers with their own gardens. They could be at home working in their gardens; but they've taken their valuable time to help someone and probably help some plants that need a home. That's special. That's the Victory Garden spirit.

Watching and interacting with others in the garden is a great social activity. Have you heard some of the stories in the garden? Unbelievable! And, Believable. What about the snail story ... comparing shell stripes and finding that "this snail is not for around here!" :)

And weeding and finding unidentifiable plants that have alien looking roots?

Gardening is a trip, an adventure, a wonderful experience! And, especially when you are engaged in an activity that just going to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. And, remember, the vegetables need pollinators so plant some flowers to attract them.

Wherever you are, I encourage you to find a garden to nurture and care for! Keep an eye on our calendar for Garden Work Parties. Organize and add your Garden Work Party to the Calendar and volunteers will come with their garden stories; their shovels; their blank canvass to learn and help; seeds and plants to contribute; favorite dish for a potluck; their personal stories; make new friends; and connect with old friends.

The garden of food is a beautiful thing! I hope to see you in the garden ...


Sunday, May 9, 2010

What to do now?

As we're nearing our big challenge weekend; I thought I'd give you a bit more to think about. You know, when you garden; there's always something to do.

Check it out.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Victory Garden 350 Garden Challenge

Right after my last entry; I received a challenge from a member of the iGrowSonoma team to get involved with getting 350 gardeners to work in their gardens on May 15 - 16, 2010. That was quite a challenge and that has taken be away from the blog. So, I'm taking a little breather this morning (before going to a Garden Work Party) to share this journey with you.

This logo started it all!

So, just about a month ago, I decided to ask The Victory Garden Foundation Inc to take the challenge and register 350 gardens/gardeners to have some gardening fun on one weekend. In less than 48 hours; the website was updated, the maps were prepared to receive the gardens and we were off and running ... of course, with the wonderful help of Lynn Renn with iGrowSonoma. What a champ!

Getting out the word about the challenge has been the main thing. As a new organization, that is always the main thing :)

Now, it's about a month later and one week before the challenge. I'm very excited about how many responses we've received and how many wonderful people I've met through social media and in person. It's such a reward to touch people in this way learning about their passion and desire for being good stewards of our planet, eating healthy, reducing stress, enjoying God's gifts, and connecting and sharing with others. This is the truly the spirit that Victory Garden Foundation was founded.

A small space can reap large benefits

We continue to reach out to encourage the growth of edibles at home leading into next weekend and beyond ... more garden hosts and work crew volunteers are needed. And, I look forward to hearing about all of the gardeners' activities from the Challenge Weekend.

Some people are just sharing a quite, fun weekend with close friends and family in the garden. Others are hosting garden parties with work crews to get some plantings done, view the bee hives, chickens and more. Can you imagine hundreds of locations as the site for hundreds of people getting together to share the wonders of growing food at home? From apartment dwellers with a sunny window, porch or balcony to the abundance of space for urban farm animals and edible crops.

Dog Island Farm in the backyard :)

If you haven't joined in ... please do! Although the numbers are great to have; it's more important that you just get into a garden situation on May 15-16.  Your garden, your neighbor's garden, a public garden! We would love for you to register to let us know that you're gardening and send photos - especially photos from the Challenge Weekend. Have fun, enjoy, and prepare to garden! Check out some of the photos from registered gardeners.