Saturday, August 1, 2009

Did you know this is the first day of Autumn?

I heard the crickets in evening yesterday eve - they herald the coming of the first frost - six weeks or less... Sigh.

In Pagan ways this the first day of the Autumn quarter of the Wheel of the Year.... although many people in the world today consider this another summer day. We have been taught to consider September as being the beginning of Autumn. But it is not. This a day of celebrating and calculating the harvest of fruits and grains that will be stored for the coming Winter.

In urban gardens all over the country the harvest is being gathered. While there are gardens and vast grain fields in rural areas, for most of us it is the relatively new phenomenon of reclaiming 'wastelands' in urban areas and returning it to being productive land that is where my thoughts are going this morning. There are a lot of websites on the Internet and a lot of books out about this type of gardening.

There is one link..... Philadelphia's communities have transformed more trash-strewn vacant lots into beautiful and bountiful gardens than another city in the United States. And what about one of most famous urban garden planted this year - Michelle Obama's White House lawn organic garden? Hmmm, it seems to have hit a bit of snag: - something left by former residents, the Clintons. It seems the Clinton's gardening team used sewage sludge for fertilizer and now a sticky goo is appearing in White House garden... while the food being harvested from the garden is still alright to be eating, it can never be considered organic. Rough start Michelle, better luck next year.

But in the meantime in cities and towns across North America, community garden is flourishing. The American Community Gardening Association estimates that in the U.S. alone there are more than 18,000 to 20,000 active gardens. The gardens come in large and small, formal and informal, urban, suburban and rural. They are operated on municipal land, land trusts, and private land; many of official, others are guerrilla acts of cultivation. Whoa, what is this guerrilla garden stuff! Yes, there is activism even in the gardening sectors too. - this is a mainly British link but there is guerrilla gardening in the U.S. too.

Have you ever wandered past a scrubby vacant lot and imagined how beautiful it could look with flowers, food crops and tree or two. You may have the heart of a guerrilla gardener. Many urban dwellers are delighted by these random acts of gardening that are done with or without permission. Guerrilla gardening can be as simple as picking up broken glass and litter or pulling out a few weeds. It can be as involved as organizing a community garden on unused railway land or helping city officials see the appeal of a new park. What began as a non-violent environmental call to arms for inner-city renewal has become the people's choice for urban beautification around the world. Boulevards, railway lands and back alleys have all benefited from the efforts of these Johnny Appleseeds.
So while some of us have missed the boat this year for growing our own harvest perhaps the reading of these publications and websites will inspire you to begin again next year.

No comments: