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Community Gardens on Military Bases

  • Subject: [cg] Community Gardens on Military Bases
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 11:42:29 EST

***I too am interested in community gardens in the san diego area.
I am a horticulturist and military spouse at MCAS Miramar and am trying to 
support to start a community garden on the base. 

Ms. Fairleigh, there are more than a few vets on this listserve who remember 
having their spirits raised looking at a military spouses's  rose gardens 
while marching back to barracks  with full pack.  As I recall it, there were 
always a few military families, originally from rural areas that would use 
any land they could get their hands on (and wasn't polluted with cordite) to 
grow some vegetables.  PX prices may seem a bargain to civilians, but to 
families on military enlisted personnel's salaries, it's often hard to make 
ends meet.  If I recall correctly, in some areas, military families may be 
even entitled to food stamps.  There has been gardening on military bases 
since the beginning of the Republic.  The old line, "farmers make the best 
soldiers" works the other way too.  A community garden is a great idea.

***I know after reading some of the commentary on this list that not all 
recipients are sensitive to the needs of us military families. however those 
political biases aside, i think that community gardening on military bases is 
an idea whose time has come. 

Yes Ma'am.  Many of us on this list, including me, deplore our government's  
impending unilateral deployment of our nation's troops. However, there are 
others on this community garden list who fully support the polices of 
President Bush in regards to the current Middle East deployment.

Neither view should not be seen  as a lack of support for our nation's 
military personnel or their families. 

You are us. 

I know in my garden, that folks on both sides of the issue have written   US 
Senators and Congressman about  language in the administration's  Military 
Families Bill that would reduce spending for the education of military 
dependents.  Fortunately, when the details of the bill came to light in the 
media, it was  withdrawn due to  "the current situation". 
 You are us. 

 It is quite likely that a number of young people who grew up in our gardens, 
generally sited in low income neighborhoods,  are currently  in the military. 
 A young man who grew up in  my garden in NYC is a Marine on active duty.  We 
think about him alot these days:  It's still winter in NYC and he used to 
work alongside us,  shovelling the sidewalk when he wasn't throwing 
snowballs.  I got him with a slushball that he still remembered last summer 
when he came back to the garden with his buddies during fleet week.   The 
once skinny kid looked like a recruiting poster in his sea school trousers 

On setting up your garden:  Please go to the website of the American 
Community Gardening Association  <A HREF="http://www.communitygarden.org/";>
American Community Gardening Association</A> 
, where there's a wealth of community gardening information for you to read, 
download and share.  While there are no San Diego gardens listed on our links 
page, your local California agricultural agent or the San Diego Parks Dept 
should be able to find some local gardens.  

On the ACGA website: The language on our website does not promote anything 
except the ACGA community gardening, food security and other related topics.  
You can feel confident in sending this link to other military families and to 
decision makers like the  base commander. 

Please let us know how you are progressing with your community garden.  
Honesly, I think everywhere we have a base with families, we should have a 
community garden - I know it would be a postcard from home for our garden's 

Good luck.  
Adam Honigman

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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