This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Monday, January 19, 2015


In the middle of winter, its a perfect time for a gardener to dream. (On MLK day: I have a dream.) I dreamt a lot last night. Dreamt my piano teacher kicked me out of class, dreamt I forgot to feed my chickens for a week. My night time dreams tend to be my little worries. I thought today was a good time to think about bigger dreams. Maybe not anything I can do anything about, but if they're written down, maybe it means something.

I have a dream...

- That someday everyone will have access to garden space and knowledge on how to grow their own food

- That everyone would have enough food, eat food that tastes good, food they know the source of, that they know has no pesticides in it, that farm workers hadn't been exposed to toxins to grow it, and that the land it grew on was still healthy

- That everyone could have the opportunity to be involved with growing their food and taste how good tastes when you dig the dirt, you plant the seeds and you tend the plants

- That everyone would have the opportunity to be part of a community where people from different backgrounds grow together according to their heritage or preference and share their knowledge and maybe part of their harvest with everyone

This last dream is from my experience at the community garden I manage. I think it does work this way. Maybe you could take out the garden references and make it a generic wish... that all could live harmoniously according to their heritage or preference and be able to share with their community.

That's it. Some big wishes but I don't often think about them outright. I go about planning and planting, sharing my garden journal and helping to manage our community garden. Hopefully this contributes something positive.

I've had some great discussions with my college-aged son. Maybe my dreams aren't realistic. If all people grew their own food then everyone wouldn't have enough to eat, he tells me. If we forgo pesticides and protect our soils then we can't grow enough. Also, there's no way everyone can plant seeds or would even want to. OK. I can't argue. I'm just doing my little thing and dreaming....


Blogger Karen Anne said...

I think your son is wrong. I've heard those pesticide claims via Monsanto and the like, but I think there have been some comparisons saying that is not the case.

Plus, there are the other factors, like pesticide exposure wrecking the environment.

It's like short term thinking vs. long term thinking. Yes, it often costs more to protect the environment in the short term, but that may save coastal cities from being underwater in the long term, plus prevent more extreme weather, etc.

January 20, 2015 8:57 AM

Blogger Ramble Ann said...

I think all people should experience gardening in some manner. It is such joy to pick tomatoes and eat them straight off the bush.. It's a good dream and maybe to be able to share that with young people that have never gardened or planted seeds before...

January 20, 2015 10:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would suggest watching a French documentary about organic production verses traditional agriculture. It covers a village in Franch that decided to switch to organic school meals after many people were diagnosed with cancer and other health issues in their farming community. Chemical laden farming is terrifying after watching this. The documentary is called "Food Beware: The French Organic Food Revolution." Deb S.

January 21, 2015 12:58 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Ramble Ann, I agree. Growing food just a great experience. But there are so many people in cites. I am excited when I hear about rooftop gardens and school gardens.

I read the book Tomatoland about tomato growing in Florida and this is a seriously terrible situation that sounds maybe like the French documentary, except that there has been no decision to improve the situation. It still exists. In Florida, they grow perfectly red round tomatoes where no crop was meant to grow by applying seemingly every known chemical.

Monsanto's GM corn seems a positive step over this using an herbicide to reduce weeds in crops. I get confused on GM (genetic modification) vs plant breeding (natural selection) and think anything done one was could be done the other, though GM is faster. Why don't they just use selection and avoid the politics?

But I'm not up on these politics. I just grown my garden because I enjoy it. And since I enjoy it, I'd like to share.

January 24, 2015 3:44 PM

Blogger Pam said...

Re your son's beliefs about people growing their own food. Several years ago, I spent time with a German family in the summer. Many families had gardens outside of town where they spent most of their time - what we call allotment gardens. The gardens are fairly small plots of land (200–400 sq meters) where city people grew fruits & veggies. The history of these gardens - called Schrebergärten - is fascinating & relevant to your discussions w son but too long for a comment. If interested, can learn more here:

January 29, 2015 5:32 PM

Blogger Robert Leavitt said...

I loved your poem. The real argument about GMO is that natural selection can take hundreds of years. The problem is not necessarily splicing, but it's the morality of what they are splicing that comes into question. Then there is the economic side where we are dealing with patents, and it's just a huge mess.

I love this poem, and I am right there with you in the hopes that everyone should grow something, and learn to grow. It's an amazing experience, and the food tastes SO MUCH BETTER!

I understand your son's argument, and there is truth that if we had the crop failures that they had before chemicals, we would lose people to hunger and disease, but I try to find a balance between chemical and organic methods.

February 02, 2015 5:49 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I don't mean natural selection. I mean the same type of selection gardeners have used for centuries to breed new varieties. Cross pollinate, and select for what you want.

I not trying to feed a city and make money on it so there is no point to me using any chemical that has risk for my land. So I am totally sustainable, rarely using even "organic" pesticides. Some of these are very toxic to bees. You can't beat row cover! Versatile, lasts several seasons, controls many pests, totally non toxic (except for that chipmunk who got caught under my strawberry covers. :-(. )

Pam I havrmt had time to look yet but. Will. Thanks.

February 04, 2015 1:13 AM


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