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Subversive plot: How to Grow a Revolution in Your Own Backyard

 
Monte Hines
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Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
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Roger Doiron: My subversive (garden) plot: How to Grow a Revolution in Your Own Backyard | Video on TED.com

Roger Doiron is founding director of Kitchen Gardeners International, a network of people taking a hands-on approach to re-localizing the global food supply. Doiron is an advocate for new policies, technologies, investments, and fresh thinking about the role of gardens.

His successful petition to replant a kitchen garden at the White House attracted broad international recognition. He is also a writer, photographer, and public speaker.

Related Links:
Kitchengardeners.org
Kitchengardeners.org/blogs
http://hines.blogspot.com/2012/02/roger-doiron-my-subversive-garden-plot.html

I think this was pretty good message, even with some humor.
He did not ask women to go naked in the garden (like Roth Stout did )
but he does ask them to wear bathing suits to get more men involved...

Some interesting ideas about spreading the word... get people thinking...
I think these ideas will help get people moving their minds toward more acceptance of of permaculture ideas...
We need to get culture change momentum and it all helps...

Thoughts? Comments? Ideas?

Regards,
Monte Hines
 
David Bates
Posts: 79
Location: Mountain Grove, Ontario, Canada
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Turning to "The White House" and other cultural powers that be to lead the way in a revolution is backward. The thing is, the powers that be are the ones who have made the food supply centralized and like it that way. Marketing boards, Monsanto, huge corporate farms whose owners never get closer to dirt then their stocks and bonds. Those are the people who don't want the rest of the planet to grow their own food. So why the heck would anybody look to "The White House" for leadership? Everyone knows that the people in that palace are put there by the ruling class... who cannot rule people who can feed themselves. Sheesh.
 
Monte Hines
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
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David,

I don't think that is what his message says...

He is saying the "grassroots" should convince "the powers to be" to follow and accept what grassroots are telling them or suffer the consequences...

I think he is saying, lets build a movement that is inclusive, like the past Grange Movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_National_Grange_of_the_Order_of_Patrons_of_Husbandry) that can overcome the elite's power .

I think he is saying build your yard gardens and let " Deeds Do The Talkin' " to polititions and power elites...

Joel Salatin: Preaching to the Choir -- http://www.permies.com/t/12703/farm-income/Joel-Salatin-Preaching-Choir#115069 discussed the impact of the Whitehouse garden had on some in the industry Direct Video Link: http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-...alatin--Preaching-to-the-Choir ==> starting at 9 minute point

Just my opinion... Others may differ...

I respect your opinion.

Regards,
Monte Hines
 
David Bates
Posts: 79
Location: Mountain Grove, Ontario, Canada
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Monte,

You could be right, I hope you are. For myself I am never very pleased when I hear people trying to convince the powers to be to change. Why would you ask the people who led us into this mess and benefit so much from keeping things this way to change? I try to change myself, I don't ask others for permission or support and I treat the people who are doing things *wrong* as dangerous enemies, not potential recruits.

Still, I hope that the ruling class in your country *does* suddenly get enlightened and stops making such trouble for the majority of folks. That would be a fairy tale ending.

- David.
 
Kelly Rued
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Location: St. Paul, MN, USA
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I enjoyed that video and think it made a good case for edible gardening at home without fear-mongering or veering off into the blame game rhetoric that puts so much good (like permaculture) into the "crazy hippy/conspiracy nutjob" category of alternative thinking.

I think mainstream consumers need to know more about the value of gardens without necessarily beating them over the head with the heavy and potentially so-scary-they-won't-believe-it stuff about why our food supply is so messed up and who is profiting from it all. That messy stuff is devisive and makes people uncomfortable until they know enough about it to trust some of the information.

The message to just grow some of your own food wherever you can because it's good for you, your family, and your wallet... I think that is a great, one-size-fits-all message to get out there. The wee bit of scary stuff in the video was just enough to seal the deal but nothing that would push viewers to a defensive/denial and ultimately distrustful reaction. Really it seemed like he only mentioned the White House because he was personally proud he had made that kind of highly visible international impact in the world. I'm not a huge fan of the current administration but if the President or his wife was influenced by me, I might mention that in a TED talk too!
 
David Bates
Posts: 79
Location: Mountain Grove, Ontario, Canada
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Kelly Rued wrote:I think mainstream consumers need to know more about the value of gardens without necessarily beating them over the head with the heavy and potentially so-scary-they-won't-believe-it stuff about why our food supply is so messed up and who is profiting from it all. That messy stuff is devisive and makes people uncomfortable until they know enough about it to trust some of the information


Thanks very much for that, Kelly. Often I find myself getting frustrated that the obvious solutions aren't so obvious to everyone and then explain things away by blaming huge things that I don't even know... or understand well.

Kitchen gardens are excellent and showing them to people is certainly a good way to get the word out. There is a lot of history that I find interesting about them here. Where my uncles and aunts grew up they had "Victory Gardens" spring up. The government encouraged people to grow food for themselves to help the war effort There is one of those "pioneer village" recreation parks beside a HUGE highway near here that has a collection of homes from about a century ago... each with it's carefully kept kitchen garden surrounded by a board fence (presumably to keep the Horses out).


I don't know why people with any amount of space wouldn't want to grow a bit of tasty food on it. I hear a lot of people say that food is easier and cheaper to buy than it is to grow.
 
Kelly Rued
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David, the victory garden trend sounded very effective. I know patriotism is not what it used to be (even though we ARE in a war now) but I wish there was something similar we could do to encourage more edible American gardens. I liked Toby's message in gaia's garden about how if we all take care of as much of our own needs as we can in our own backyard, it means more farm land can revert to a natural ecology. Also I think it would take the pressure off farmers to grow insane amounts and focus to much on quantity and not enough on quality.

The gardening industry is so messed up here. It's all ornamentals and breeding bigger, fancier flowers for cuttings, and sellling overpriced pots and garden art. I wish there was some kind of tax credit for buying edible perennials from licensed nurseries. The many fine people with small dedicated nurseries could benefit (especially the mail-order/online ones) and we could help home owners see that some of the most ornamental and low-maintenance plants also yield food. I think it's bizarre how popular sterile fruit trees are because people want the flowers but not the fruit.

It's kind of funny how many people think gardening is too much work, but then they pay for a gym membership so they can run on a machine indoors like a rat on a wheel. Ask people to help move your furniture and they feel put out, but the same people will pay a gym to let them life weights. I wonder if it's a college-education elitism thing that people just look down on productive labor to the point that they'd rather do the most expensive, impractical exercise possible. But yeah, among people I know the "gardening is hard work" thing is the big turn off. It blame the master gardener types who scare people off by making it all sound harder than it is. Nobody needs a college course to grow food but our culture makes people feel like they shouldn't take a crap without consulting an expert, reading a book, going to a class, or validating that they're doing it right with a bunch of other people who are too scared to try something on their own. Growing food is not rocket science but I think people today are cowed by the (wrong) idea that you need to know what you're doing before you try to do things (when really it's the trying to do things that is the only way to eventually know what you're doing).
 
David Bates
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Location: Mountain Grove, Ontario, Canada
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Since the title of this thread is "Subversive", I think I should bring up my buddy Carl. Carl was this bearded hippy type who used to go on about how people were separated from "the means of production" and that it made them discontented. Carl was a bit of a banana but he may have been close. I think that people are separated from "the means of producing FOOD" and that it doesn't make them unhappy at all. For some reason they stay happy if you plant a big lawn around their house and some flower beds. Maybe it just fakes them out? So people can satisfy their primal urges to make and gather food without being able to feed themselves. They are content and you can control them quite nicely because -if push came to shove- they wouldn't be able to eat much of the Kentucky Bluegrass seed that they had saved up.

That probably sounds crazy but if you think about the gym memberships, lawns, processed food and spandex... that's all crazy too

When I was a kid a teacher predicted that one day people would be buying water. We all thought he was bogus. Water was free! Then he went on to tell us that it would be more expensive than gasoline. Extra bogus. Then it happened. Then water got more expensive than gasoline and came in little plastic jars.

Maybe there was a time in history when everybody knew that food was free and then they were pulled in by a clever marketing campaign? Maybe that happens all the time?
 
Monte Hines
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
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Found some interesting video concerning Victory Gardens... Rather long videos but I think they are worth watching.

Archive film from the WWII era describing the inportance of the victory garden
http://vimeo.com/16001143

My takeaway --> Wow - need a modern day version with less work, less child labor, and no soil killing chemicals!

Chicago Victory Gardens: Yesterday and Tomorrow

During World War II, Chicago led the nation in urban food production with its Victory Gardens program of 1,500 community gardens and more than 250,000 home gardens. The city's North Park neighborhood was also home to the largest Victory Garden in the United States. In fact, the Victory Gardens campaign in Chicago was so successful that it was emulated across the country. Seventy years later, Chicago continues this tradition with an estimated 700 community gardens. In 2010, LaManda Joy launched the Peterson Garden Project, on land that was part of an original World War II Victory Garden from 1942-1945. The Peterson Garden is Chicago's largest community-allotment vegetable garden, with 157 plots tended by community members growing only organic vegetables. Volunteers and students also tend several garden plots and donate their produce to local food pantries and homeless shelters.
Speaker Biography: LaManda Joy is an award-winning gardener, blogger and founder of Chicago's Peterson Garden Project.

My takeaway --> Inspirational... Lots of facts about history... Fertile ground for permaculture input...

I think these videos provide a historic backdrop of concept and its implementation.

Does permaculture have a "response video"?
Should permaculture community have "response video"?

Any thoughts....?
 
Kelly Rued
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Location: St. Paul, MN, USA
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Definitely need less chemical recommendations.

I am sick of seeing "master gardeners" and presentations online from University of Minnesota extension workers telling people the WORST and most impractical/expensive things about how to prepare/start a garden bed. Nobody needs to build a raised bed (they are nice but NOT necessary) or do much of anything besides clearing competition/tuf and maybe amending a little with compost (though top-dressing works just fine, imo). Everyone makes it sound so much harder than it is. Yes, great yields require best practices but new gardeners shouldn't let the perfect garden be the enemy of the grew-some-food-and-it-was-fun first garden.

I just saw a slideshow from University of Minnesota that basically said to drench the plot in Round Up until everything is dead, then the next spring you plant your food in that chemical-laden nastiness... and that's according to the people most folks consider experts on gardening.

I know not everyone is on board with not using Round Up at all (lots of supposedly eco-minded folks still use it to fight "invasives", though I think those people are nutty to use it even in that situation) but I really thought most people trying to grow food at least would steer clear.

There are so many easier methods (dig up your sod/turn it face down, cover with cardboard or newspaper and water it down... cover that with some free black dirt/compost/wood chips from the local yard waste management facility and boom, you've got a reasonably good spot for most annuals and all perennials except the acid-lovers). And for people who don't like the idea of cardboard or newsprint either, I think wood, bricks, patio stones, concrete pavers, or just about anything you have lying around would also work to block sun and kill down everything green in just a few weeks time.

We really need new experts who can show people how easy it is to grow food without chemicals or much money (or back-breaking labor). The plants want to grow and still just need soil, sun, and water. You can get way fancier but the basics are just picking the right plants for the space/person/skill and not neglecting them once they're in the ground. I think that even the idea of "weeding" gets blown out of proportion (most plants live just fine alongside the weeds, they just may be a bit stunted from the competition). Not everyone needs a blue ribbon totally optimized garden, especially a first timer.


 
Monte Hines
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
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Definitely! Need to keep it simple and with minimal cost to get people started.
Definitely! Use no chemicals that damage soil... !!!

Any one read "Grocery Gardening"? Any good?

I decided to buy. I found it for .01 + 3.99 shipping NEW
Ratings at Amazon appear good.

Hope it is in line with permaculture ideas?





Related link:
http://nestinstyle.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/book-review-is-grocery-gardening-the-right-book-for-you/

Where to Find the Women of Grocery Gardening
Jean Ann Van Krevelen - http://www.goodenoughgardening.com/ lots of podcasts!
Amanda Thomsen - http://www.hortmag.com/kissmyaster
Robin Ripley - http://www.bumblebeeblog.com/
Teresa O’Connor - http://www.seasonalwisdom.com/
 
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