Why did we plant our Patriot Garden? Because we have a constitutional right to grow our own food peacefully on our own private property. And because it just makes sense.
The U.S. and Florida constitutions protect our property rights from arbitrary invasions. Insisting that we grow grass instead of a vegetable plant is irrational and beyond the scope of government power. The city should not only withdraw its demands that we tear up our garden, but amend its zoning code to allow more people to take our lead.
Growing a garden is as old as civilization and deeply rooted in the American experience. During both World Wars, Americans were encouraged to plant their own “Victory Gardens,” which were an economical way to increase the nation’s food supply. It makes little sense that something that was once considered a patriotic duty should now be against the law. The garden ban is especially ironic because Orlando aspires to be the “Greenest City in America.” (From In Orlando, You Can’ t Grow Your Own Garden.)
It is easy to S.E.E. all the sustainable benefits that Patriot Gardens provide.
Gardens Build Community. See Our Garden.
Healthy food. You are guaranteed highly nutriant-dense food that has no toxins, GMOs, or other chemicals – and with a garden in your front yard, you’re encouraged to eat more vegetables on a daily basis.
Active outdoor lifestyle. Getting outdoors and working in a garden will change your life for the better. Your interaction with nature and connection to the Earth will change your perspective of the world.
No wars over oil. Jason’s brother died with so many in the Middle East over oil. Bring our families back home and stop our dependence on oil. Don’t just say it; support our troops by planting a Patriot Garden.
Doing your part. “Green is the most patriotic, capitalistic, farsighted thing (American’s) can do for their kids and their country.” (Discovery Channel, “Green: Red, White & Blue.”)
Reduce carbon footprint. A typical vegetable rides on up to 20 pieces of machinery to get from the ground to your table. How many miles did it travel and for how long? Now consider a vegetable from your Patriot Garden. It just does not get any better than that.
Save water. Americans use between 50 – 60% of their potable water (which has a high cost and carbon footprint) for watering their lawns, which produces nothing useful. Rainwater harvesting saves our drinking water.
Eliminate energy consumption. How much energy does the typical vegetable use in order to get from the ground to your door? Plant a Patriot Garden and make it zero!
Land stewardship. Nearly all faiths regard land stewardship as a duty and obligation, to “keep and care” for creation.
Sustain ecosystems. A Patriot Garden can be a self-sustaining ecosystem with a variety of organisms and benefits.
Minimize light pollution. Every piece of machinery the typical vegetable utilizes needs lights. Drive by a sugar cane processing plant in the dark and see if you do not think a U.F.O. is landing. Bring back the stars at night.
Protect trees. We can stop mowing down forests for more farms or more fuel by growing our food at home.
Decrease waste. Composting completes the life cycle back to the start, cradle-to-cradle instead of cradle-to-grave. But ask yourself how much food packaging you throw away a day? Stop adding to Mount Trashmore.
Improve air quality. By doing all of the above, our air will regain its purity. Plants absorb carbon and release oxygen – so you will always breathe easier in your Patriot Garden.
Community-based local food system. See the Community-Based Local Food System Plan that we (with the help of many others) proposed to the city of Orlando. It is about our community controlling our food – not the government.
Food income. Stop worrying about if you have enough money to pay for expensive organic food, when you can have all that you want without having to spend the money. We actually had to start a new category in our budget!
Food trade. Food is a commodity, a human necessity. We trade food for almost anything. As the recent drought impacts our food prices, trading food can be an obvious choice.
Reduce health costs. Processed food, pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, and polluted water are all proving to impact our health system in a multitude of ways. Eliminating all that while getting exercise will reduce health costs drastically.
Reduce transportation costs. The garden becomes your exercise, your grocery, your socializing, and your hobby; all without having to drive anywhere. Also, if fewer vehicles are needed to get your food to your table, then costs like gas and road taxes do not go up as fast either.
Sustainism. Sustainism can be a win, win, win approach to capitalism. We win socially, environmentally, and economically. Our economic system must win for everyone or it will not sustain, let alone Thrive.