Our 21st Century Victory Garden

Nancy Flynn Apostrophe Blog Archive, Cooking, Gardening, Musings, Neighborhood

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Musings on Writing and Life.

The rains have pretty much arrived here in Western Oregon. And we are in the final stages of putting most of our 400-square foot plot at the Woodlawn Community Garden to bed. Oh, there will be stuff growing over the winter like always—lettuce, spinach, broccoli, beets, and a bed of 116 Ellensburg Blue garlic cloves. But for the most part, the summer bounty is at its end. Beans and summer squash have been uprooted and sent to the city compost facility. Tomatoes are done with the unripe green ones waiting to be turned into some relish or chutney. The pepper plants are hanging on; we will harvest and can or pickle more of those beauties later this week. The asparagus patch—that produced pound after pound of spears and for weeks on end—is in full frond right now. Spring will bring more bounty from those amazing crowns again. And then it will be time to put in our potato crop again. Meanwhile, the shelves in our basement pantry are filled with jars of pickled beets, beet relish, chili sauce, salsa, dilly beans, bread & butter pickles, and a very delicious condiment from the Ball canning book called Singapore Chili Sauce. Our freezer is full of jars of tomato sauce made from the many heirlooms we grew.

This is our tenth year having a plot in the community garden and, truth to tell, it is one of the best things about the life we lead here in the Pacific Northwest. There are now 60! community gardens located throughout the Portland area and run by Portland Parks and Recreation. We grow food, we share our bounty with friends and neighbors and a local food pantry. We work together with other gardeners to make the space beautiful and welcoming. Victory gardens for the 21st century—maybe everyone should try to have a small patch of their own?

The public domain image above was a poster created in 1945 by the artist Hubert Morley for the War Food Administration.

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