Utne Blogs > Environment

The Garden Renaissance

 by Keith Goetzman

Tags: environment, green living, gardening, community gardens, Victory Gardens, community supported agriculture,

Backyard and community gardening is growing like a compost-fed bean shoot, thanks to a spreading green consciousness, a desire to eat local and organic, and high and rising food prices.

In Seattle, more than 1,600 people are on a waiting list for gardening land at one of the city’s “P-Patch” plots, Crosscut reports. And some city officials are pushing for an inventory of public land that could be used to grow food, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, echoing Portland’s “Diggable City” initiative.

In the Bay Area, a new firm called MyFarm helps harried urban dwellers who want a garden in their yard but don’t always have the time or skills to maintain it, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. MyFarm plants, maintains, and harvests veggies for the landowner and sometimes, with larger gardens, for other subscribers in what is basically a backyard CSA (community supported agriculture) operation. Similar outfits already operate in other cities.

Across the pond, the BBC profiles a couple of backyard gardeners in the Midlands region who’ve been driven to exercise their green thumbs in part by a desire to save money.

Altogether, these trends point to a gardening renaissance that recalls the Victory Gardens of World War II—a project that San Francisco is in fact emulating with its Victory Gardens 2008+ project.