I’m a gardener and usually I welcome new information about gardening. But, last week I came upon some gardening information that had me scratching my head. But, I got dandruff, not a “eureka” moment.
Let me explain: As best I can tell from the info, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has renewed its push for the People’s Garden Initiative, a proposal that would include registering vegetable gardens nationwide. According to the USDA, the move is to foster a “more diverse and resilient local food system to empower communities to address issues like nutrition access and climate change.”
To register your garden with the USDA, you must meet several easily obtainable standards. School gardens, community gardens, urban farms, and small-scale agriculture projects in rural, suburban and urban areas can be recognized as a “People’s Garden,” if they register on the USDA website and meet criteria including benefitting the community, working collaboratively, incorporating conservation practices and educating the public. These standards essentially define every community garden in the country.
Interesting to me that the USDA, which usually almost begs for public comments on proposed policy changes or additions, has to the best of my knowledge been turned off in the USDA’s video.
“We welcome gardens nationwide to join us in the People’s Garden effort and all it represents,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, “Local gardens across the country share USDA’s goals of building more diversified and resilient local food systems, empowering communities to come together around expanding access to healthy food, addressing climate change and advancing equity.”
Secretary Vilsack added: “We encourage existing gardens and new gardens to join the movement. Growing local food benefits local communities in so many ways, and we offer technical resources to help. Also, it’s a great way to connect with your local USDA team members.”
USDA wants you to register your vegetable garden so it can place you in a database and put your healthy food source on a map — for your health, of course. You also get some sort of sign for your front yard too, probably quite attractive.
I’m going personal now. I see registering of all local gardens as federal program overkill and a waste of USDA budget monies.
Personal and local gardens are doing fine and growing (pun intended) in numbers without government counting and monitoring. Community gardens and farmers markets are growing by leaps and bounds through local endeavors, not federal ones. Everyone knows how to get in touch with their good local USDA folks, if they need advice or information.
Last word from me: The federal government has a lot more important issues to deal with currently than counting personal and local gardens.
Okay, switching to a topic with more fun and less seriousness.
Students in an advanced college biology class were taking their final exam.
The last question on the test was, Name seven advantages of Mother’s Milk. The question wuz all or nothing — worth 50 points or none at all.
One student who grew up on a farm was hard put to think of seven advantages. However, he wrote:
1. It is perfect formula for the child.
2. It provides immunity against several diseases.
3. It is always the right temperature.
4. It is inexpensive.
5. It bonds the child to mother, and vice versa.
6. It is always available as needed.
And then the student got stuck. Finally, in desperation as the last seconds for the test were ticking away, he wrote:
7. It comes in two containers that are high enough off the ground that the cat can’t spill them.
He got an “A”.
Two young farm wives are having coffee one morning and commiserating about the trials and tribulations of rural marriages.
One gal said to her friend, ”My husband and I are no longer together.”
The second wife, shocked, asked, ”Why?”
The first wife replied with a question, ”Well, could you live with a person who chain smokes, drinks too much, has no job, and curses a lot about life in general?”
“No, of course, I couldn’t!” the second wife replied.
“Well, my husband couldn’t either!” the first wife said, ending the conversation.
Words of wisdom for the week: “Grow your own vegetables.
Feed the best to yourself and family members. Feed the rest to some pigs. They’ll convert those subpar veggies to tasty bacon and you can eat that, too.”
Have a good ‘un.