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Grocery Shopping from the Back Porch, Part 2

Posted about 4 years ago by Meldon Jenkins-Jones


by Meldon Jenkins-Jones

In the words of Nicole Johnsey Burke, the author of Kitchen Garden Revival: A Modern Guide to Creating a Stylish, Small-scale, Low-maintenance, Edible Garden (available online through Hoopla), “Kitchen gardens were once popular features of the European and early American landscape, but they fell out of favor when our agrarian roots were displaced by industrialization.”  

Regaining popularity during both World Wars, kitchen gardens were known as Victory Gardens. Current pandemic realities have made them more than a convenience once again. In a recent NPR interview by Petra Mayer, Jennifer Atkinson, author of Gardenland: Nature, Fantasy and Everyday Practice said, “What people are starved for right now isn’t food, but contact with something real… We spend all day on screens. We can’t be around each other at restaurants or ballparks. We can’t even give hugs or shake hands. So all of a sudden, the appeal of sinking your hands in the dirt and using your body in ways that matter, that becomes irresistible.”  Here in Richmond, community organizers are calling them by a new name, “Resiliency Gardens”.

There are even vegetable recipes to help you plan what to do with your home-grown produce once you harvest them. I’ve discovered lots of websites promoting fresh veggies, including some with omnivore and flexitarian recipes. Oh, I’m getting ahead of my story–most of my seeds are still seedlings! I am planning ahead, though, so my second crop of veggies will be planted when I receive my “Resiliency Garden” raised bed courtesy of Beautiful RVA. As Happily Natural’s Duron Chavis says, the Resiliency Garden Project is “growing community through food access.” He continues, “Nothing says hope like planting a seed.” He says that a backyard garden will reduce the need to go out to the grocery store. My sentiments, exactly!



Meldon Jenkins-Jones

Meldon Jenkins-Jones, Hull Street Library/Community Services Manager, had been the Law Librarian of the Richmond Public Law Library from 2013 thru July 2022. She is the first recipient of the Virginia Library Association's Librarian of Color Forum Award in 2021. She is a Graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, Class of 2022. She received her Master of Science degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. Meldon spends her free time with family and writing inspirational stories and her memoirs.

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