Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Baby steps.

Suburbanites Turn Green Yards Into Cash With Minifarms
Yes, in My Backyard: Rising Prices Prompt Some to Grow Their Own Food
By JOHN BERMAN, JESSICA HOFFMAN and STEVE PETYERAK
April 29, 2008

...It's only the beginning of the growing season, but VanHecke already has tomatoes, beets, chard, radishes and lettuce in every spare nook and cranny of her yard, which she sells to a local restaurant.

Or, neighborhood farmer's markets could be set up.

..."With them it's half the cost and it's organic," said Stove Restaurant owner Sydney Meers, who buys fresh food from VanHecke.

According to Meers, the suburban farmers and local restaurants win with this setup. In fact, she said there is only one loser — "the big purveyor."
...Farmers like VanHecke hardly are crying for corporate producers — in part because food prices have increased so drastically. This new way of life helps bring in food and cash during a time when high gas prices and a credit crisis are strangling the economy.


This is a baby step on the road to relocalization and self-sufficiency for our communities.

...You don't even need your own yard. When Boulder, Colo., resident Kipp Nash finishes gardening his yard, which is filled with bok choy and beets, he farms his neighbor's. People even can rent unused yards online on places like Craigslist.

Modern sharecropping - and why not? It works.

Here is a webpage, a resource for putting together urban gardening co-ops. Whether you decide just to have your own "victory garden" or decide to form a more organized group, this page sells guides for getting started.

http://www.spinfarming.com/

There are, of course, countless webpages, books, DVDs, and gardening clubs - not to mention your county extension office - which have resources for ideas, getting started, trouble-shooting, and expanding.

SPIN stands for S-mall P-lot IN-tensive - your yard, balcony, roof, deck, or porch, in the ground or in containers, even little bitty cold frames or greenhouses. These are steps toward a more economically functional future, both for us an individuals and for our community.

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