Just talked with my father-in-law, who is in contact with several
people on wheat harvest. Yields are miserable this year, in the wheat
growing plains states, on account of the drought and late freeze.
Yields are being reported from 0 - 20 bu/acre.
One crew loaded up combines and trucks and headed home. Losing money
on the harvesting, not to mention the loss to the farmers.
Hmmmm, wonder what this will do to supermarket prices?
Cinch up those Belts
Home-Front Ecology: What Our Grandparents Can Teach Us About Saving The
The World War II home front was the most important and broadly
participatory green experiment in U.S. history. Lessing Rosenwald, the
chief of the Bureau of Industrial Conservation, called on Americans “to
change from an economy of waste–and this country has been notorious for
waste–to an economy of conservation.” A majority of civilians, some
reluctantly but many others enthusiastically, answered the call.
The most famous symbol of this wartime conservation ethos was the
victory garden. Originally promoted by the Wilson administration to
combat the food shortages of World War I, household and communal
kitchen gardens had been revived by the early New Deal as a subsistence
strategy for the unemployed. After Pearl Harbor, a groundswell of
popular enthusiasm swept aside the skepticism of some Department of
Agriculture officials and made the victory garden the centerpiece of
the national “Food Fights for Freedom” campaign.
By 1943, beans and carrots were growing on the former White House lawn,
and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and nearly 20 million other victory
gardeners were producing 30 to 40 percent of the nation’s
vegetables–freeing the nation’s farmers, in turn, to help feed Britain
and Russia. In The Garden Is Political, a 1942 volume of popular verse,
poet John Malcolm Brinnin acclaimed these “acres of internationalism”
taking root in U.S. cities. Although suburban and rural gardens were
larger and usually more productive, some of the most dedicated
gardeners were inner-city children. With the participation of the Boy
Scouts, trade unions, and settlement houses, thousands of ugly,
trash-strewn vacant lots in major industrial cities were turned into
neighborhood gardens that gave tenement kids the pride of being
self-sufficient urban farmers. In Chicago, 400,000 schoolchildren
enlisted in the “Clean Up for Victory” campaign, which salvaged scrap
for industry and cleared lots for gardens.
Victory gardening transcended the need to supplement the wartime food
supply and grew into a spontaneous vision of urban greenness (even if
that concept didn’t yet exist) and self-reliance. In Los Angeles,
flowers (”a builder of citizen morale”) were included in the
“Clean-Paint-Plant” program to transform the city’s vacant spaces, and
the Brooklyn Botanic Garden taught the principles of “garden culture”
to local schoolteachers and thousands of their enthusiastic students."