Does a Poor Economy Call for a Vegetable Garden?

Sheri Reed

Photo by momoflukas

The economic news is just plain bad, and everyone is, well, FREAKED OUT. That's why the idea of planting a "recession garden" has been popping up all over the Internet lately. This idea stems from the "victory gardens" grown during the first and second World Wars to ease the pressures of the public food supply burden. Today, it holds similar meaning: You grow your own food because the grocery bill is killing you!

How bad does it have to get for you before you'll start planting your own vegetable garden and growing your own food?

Over at Salon, Steve Almond has a whole series of essays called Pinched, about living in an economic downturn. His essay "Dirt cheap - Step one in the battle against soaring food prices: Start your own recession garden" is a hilarious tale about one "lazy" dad's journey into vegetable and herb gardening. Urged by his household's growing grocery bill and his wife's love for Whole Foods, he turns his secret love for weeding and complaining about the weather into real food for his family.

Almond takes it from funny to serious too:

"Just as I grew up watching my dad sowing strawberries and snap peas, I want my kids to see me hoeing and planting and weeding. And I want them to help when they’re old enough. (At the moment, my daughter’s contribution to the garden consists of picking green tomatoes, which she calls “potatoes.”) I truly believe they’re going to need these skills in the decades to come, as our society turns away from the impossibilities of convenience and back toward a more humble, self-sustaining manner of living."

By the end of his piece, I have to say, I'm a little inspired to get my own family out there to plant a little something. Now I just have to figure out when to start.

Hey, this Vegetable Garden Calendar posted by Austinka will help. Looks like I'm off the hook on planting until January. Thanks, Austinka!

Don't miss the Food & Party Buzz post: Smart Foods for Tough Economic Times.

Do you grow your own food or do you plan to start? How much has the poor economy played a part in your decision to do so?

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