A national effort to fight climate change and high food bills is being organized by Green America to urge Americans to plant “Climate Victory Gardens” to reduce carbon emissions while growing safe, healthy and less expensive food.
Green America announced its new Climate Victory Gardens campaign to encourage Americans to follow the World War II lead of their grandparents by planting an edible garden in their backyard or community garden. Climate Victory Gardens include practices like no-till, cover crops, perennials and composting that help to create healthy soils. The effort is aimed at mitigating carbon emissions and storing carbon in the soil while growing safe and healthy foods.
During the first and second World Wars, Americas rallied to feed their communities at home and support troops overseas by planting “Victory Gardens.” By 1944, nearly 20-million victory gardens produced eight-million tons of food, equaling about 40 percent of the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the U.S. at the time.
How realistic is it to assume 40-million Climate Victory Gardens can be started? According to the National Gardening Association, 35 percent of all households in America, or 42-million households, are growing food at home or in a community garden. In addition to new Victory Gardens, many of the of these existing gardens could adopt climate-sensitive practices.
“Americans want to take actions that have a direct impact on climate change,” said Todd Larsen, Green America’s executive co-director of consumer and corporate engagement. “They are also increasingly concerned about the chemicals on store-bought produce. Climate Victory Gardens gives us all a way to reduce our impact on the planet, while ensuring the food we feed our families is safe and nutritious.”
Industrial agriculture is one of the most carbon and water-intensive industries, and the massive chemicals used in industrial farms damages the soil, pollutes local communities, and put the consumers’ health at risk. Climate Victory Gardens is a campaign of Green America Re(store) It! Program that advocates for a regenerative agricultural system in the U.S. that protects soils and sequesters carbon, while eliminating toxic chemicals.
“Agriculture is currently a major contributor to climate change,” said Jes Walton, food campaigns specialist at Green America. “Climate Victory Gardens are a way for all Americans to change that, turning food into a practice that feeds the earth and reduces greenhouse gasses. The gardens are also a great way for all Americans to better understand where our food comes from and the importance of preserving healthy soils for generations to come.”
Here are a few resources to get started.