Where to after Lockdown?

It has been interesting to plan our blog, when we have no idea what the next few weeks will bring. Ordinarily it would be a discussion  on what will be happening in our gardens in the next few weeks and months .

I am sure I am not the only one who has spent time in my garden during our enforced timeout, it has been both gratifying and frustrating. Gratifying in having some time to simply be in the garden, and frustrating in not being in a position to purchase the supplies I needed and the odd plants I would have liked to pop into strategic spots.

I have taken time to catch up on all the wonderful articles that have been posted in all the media, tips and thoughts, one theme that has caught my imagination has been the concept of a Victory Garden.

I would like to begin a discussion on a modern Victory Garden, one that fits the needs of the uncertain times we all face, as we battle the pandemic, and I would appreciate it if you would consider being part of the discussion.

I  researched the history of the Victory Garden and found a wonderful blog (motherearthnews.com) that is worth reading, in my opinion. The  Victory Garden was  born out of need, the food shortages experienced in World War I and World War II, the response to the ‘call to action’ was impressive, gardeners in the USA planted more than 20 million Victory Gardens during WWII.

I would like to share the following excerpt from the blog authors first article –  worthwhile and thought provoking:

Victory gardens raise morale, as well as crops. We don’t know if there will be food shortages or economic changes that would impact food purchasing power. Growing a garden could nurture confidence and a greater sense of food security, as well as a source of healthy fresh food. Gardening can be a solitary and healing project, perfect for social distancing, a welcome distraction from the news and social media.”

There are a few aspects of the concept of a Victory Garden in 2020 that are a little different to the the War Time. It is true that we may well face food shortages, but with the focus on maintaining essential services and the support being given to farmers, and the logistic chain, this risk could be managed.  The impact of purchasing power could be a bigger challenge for all of us. Farming and delivering produce under current conditions is not ideal, the costs are increasing and we are all starting to see the increases in prices.

We have other issues to consider, as well,  such as the damage done to our earth, climate change, pollution. People are becoming far more aware of the problems and the need for all of us to become involved in changing our attitudes and the way we live, to mitigate the damage that has been done to the environment. Many of us even started growing spekboom!

The spekboom ignited a lot of interest, earlier this year, with Spekboom Challenges and similar initiatives coming to the fore. This was followed by notes of caution from various sources, reminding us of the importance of bio-diversity and the risk of mono-culture, especially where plants are not native or endemic to an area.

As with everything, our gardens need balance, a healthy balance between flowers, fruit, indigenous plants and vegetables, human interaction and a good dose of enjoyment and pleasure, balanced with some hard work.

We will be exploring these issues over the next few weeks, as we look at which plants do well in our South African gardens in Autumn and Winter, how to plan to incorporate vegetables into our spaces and what factors to take into account, when planning and planting a Victory Garden to mitigate some of  the challenges we will face this year.

Until next time, take care.

Jennifer