Gardening as Political Protest

David Trammel's picture

I try to stay away from discussing politics here, and this thread will continue that.

I came across this article that while it has a political flavor, most of the sentiments about how starting a garden and taking more control of where you get your food, and who profits from you, resonates with what we teach here on Green Wizards. Plus the links are great too.

Why Growing Food is The Single Most Impactful Thing You Can Do in a Corrupt Political System

"The most effective change-makers in our society aren’t waiting around for a new president to make their lives better, they’re planting seeds, quite literally, and through the revolutionary act of gardening, they’re rebuilding their communities while growing their own independence.

Every four years when the big election comes around, millions of people put their passion for creating a better world into an increasingly corrupt and absurd political contest. What if that energy was instead invested in something worthwhile, something that directly and immediately improved life, community, and the world at large?

The simple act of growing our own food directly challenges the control matrix in many authentic ways, which is why some of the most forward-thinking and strongest-willed people are picking up shovels and defiantly starting gardens. It has become much more of a meaningful political statement than supporting political parties and candidates."

Yes indeed. His comment about who is more effective, people making a garden or people marching resonated with me. I friends and I have been gardening for several years now and growing a good deal of our own food. I don't know any better way to use my time.

I see this all the time in my local environmental group. Let's protest! Let's not hang our laundry on the clothesline!
Let's have onerous government mandates! Let's not do anything ourselves without being forced too!

We'll all be forced to change, one household at a time.

Better to do it early.

Teresa from Hershey

Jeez, I can't begin to ennumerate all the errors in logic. Do I start with the supposition that people are only political every four years? Or with the ignornant assumption that navigating the labyrinth of city ordinances and neighborhood associations does not require major political skills? Or just point out that this is a grand (and self-aggrandizing) example of binary thinking?

Does it cross his mind that 10 of those 20 people probably got up at the crack of dawn to weed, harvest, and water their vegetables BEFORE they went to the march?

I get to hang out every day on Facebook with Sharon Astyk. She's a lot of fun. If the name doesn't immediately ring a bell, she wrote
A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil
Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation
Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front
Green Sex: Love, Friendship, Marriage, Family, Gender and Reproduction in an Ecologically Constrained World

And a few more. To be honest I haven't read any of them. Right now I'd like to start with Green Sex. She and her husband Eric gave up the farm a while back and moved into town. They are foster parents. Right now they are raising a dozen kids, some birth, some adopted, some foster. And Sharon is very funny and every day we get to share in her family adventures.

The same day I posted the response about gardening and marching, she posted:

"There is are a lot of rules in my house for teens with caveats. I tend not to be too rigid with teens as long as everyone is being safe. But one thing that is not up for argument is that the minute you become eligible, you WILL register to vote. I can't make you vote. But I can make you register, and I will. Three new voters in 2020! Woot!!!!!!!!"

I would venture to say that's political... And right after I read her post, I read:

Throwaway Kids
‘We are sending more foster kids to prison than college’

"For the past year, The Kansas City Star has examined what happens to kids who age out of foster care and found that, by nearly every measure, states are failing in their role as parents to America’s most vulnerable children.

"Roughly 23,000 kids across the country are churned out of the system every year, and their lives highlight a distinct path traveled by many:

"Taken from an unstable home. Terrified by their first contact with the state. Emotionally and cognitively damaged in care as they are moved from home to home. Robbed of an education equal to their peers. Turned out to the streets unprepared to stand on their own. And changed for life...

"As part of its investigation, The Star surveyed nearly 6,000 inmates in 12 states — representing every region of the country — to determine how many had been in foster care and what effect it had on their lives.

"Of the inmates who took the survey, 1 in 4 said they were the product of foster care. Some spent the majority of their childhood in strangers’ homes, racking up more placements than birthdays."

Read more here:

Turns out raising foster kids is a "political" act! Is it more effective than teaching someone to garden? How would you even begin to evaluate that??? Eh? How do you begin to establish a heirarchy of political "effectiveness."?

You all know what a venn diagram is?

I know I've posted the Social Triangle Process on the old site, but the three pyramids of the social process are cultural, economic, and political. And they are fractal. You have to engage all three. And anybody who wants to wants to tell you X>Y is full of it.


add photo: 

Oh, and before I pack it in for the night...

How Protests Can Swing Elections

A new study shows that both liberal and conservative protests have had a real impact on U.S. House elections.

"Co-authored by Sarah A. Soule at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Daniel Q. Gillion at University of Pennsylvania, the study finds that spikes in both liberal and conservative protest activity can increase or decrease a candidate’s vote by enough to change the final outcome.

“'Many people are skeptical that protests matter to electoral outcomes, but our paper finds that they have a profound effect on voter behavior,' says Soule. 'Liberal protests lead Democrats to vote on the issues that resonate for them, and conservative protests lead Republicans to do the same. It happens on both sides of the ideological spectrum.'

"On average, a wave of liberal protesting in a congressional district can increase a Democratic candidate’s vote share by 2% and reduce a GOP candidate’s share by 6%. A wave of conservative protests, like those by the Tea Party in 2010, will on average reduce the Democratic vote share by 2% and increase the Republican share by 6%.

"On top of that, big protests by progressives have spurred increases in the quality of Democrats who decide to challenge incumbents. (Conservative protests haven’t had the same impact motivating Republican challengers, however.) That seems to be what has happened in 2018, when record numbers of women both marched in the streets and decided to run as Democrats for Congress, but the pattern isn’t unique to this year.

"The study is based on a detailed analysis of both local protest activity and voting patterns in every congressional election from 1960 to 1990."