I'm moving the post below slightly because of consistent hack attacks on it.
|Community garden in Alpharetta, GA|
The editor comes at it from the angle of high food prices, implying that gardens like this provide cheap food, and apparently concluding that a third of an acre of vegetables can have a significant economic effect.
I imagine home gardeners all over Prescott having a deep chuckle over this. The editor seems to imagine that growing your own food is free.
I sincerely doubt that anyone growing less than an acre of single crop in this area is producing anything for significantly less on average than they could get it in a store, even if they don't account their hours of labor. The water, the seeds and seedlings, the compost and other soil amendments, the critter barriers and repellents, the support structures, the weather barriers, it adds up fast if you want a nice tomato.
Ask a family farmer. Those folks aren't exactly rolling in dough lately.
No, editor, if it was about cost we'd all be picking over the trash bins at Wal-Mart. Growing your own is about knowing where it comes from, exactly what's in it, and the satisfaction of making something beautiful and tasty. These are values you can't buy, so there's no way to compare the pricing.
When you fold in the amount of time it takes, a garden absolutely cannot compete with agribusiness on a dollar basis. The idea is ludicrous.
A community garden is a great place to learn and share, and I have no doubt that for the 70 or so households able to participate in this one, it'll be fun and rewarding. For the rest of us the project can serve as an example and inspiration to spur similar projects elsewhere in the community. We have underused plots of land all over town that could be in production right now, cultivated by neighborhood groups, churches, schools and businesses.
Many of our neighbors actively participated in the wartime Liberty Garden effort not so long ago, designed to help reduce retail demand and therefore transportation and labor costs in response to labor* and fuel shortages. Need I point out that current conditions are economically parallel?
Gardening is a great idea in many ways. It's too bad the editor fails to see them.
[Addendum] Note *: Referring to the shortage of agricultural workers as we scare off Mexicans, of course.