Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Just recently, we posted "Be the Inspiration~" And, soon after, one of the challengers applauded the blog piece and let us know that we didn't say WHY? So, that challenger and that challenger's question is the 'inspiration' for this blog.

So, Let’s talk about Why?

There are so many reasons why you should register for the 350 Victory Garden challenge. Your act of registering to take the 350 Victory Garden Challenge is one of power! You are showing your commitment to eating healthy food, conserving water, saving energy, and building community. When you register your power along with others; a message of strength and commitment to sustainability is sent around the world. Even if you do not have a garden, have never grown your own food; your action of registering can put you in touch with others who are growing food at home. Helping someone else in their garden is an act of kindness.   

Standing up to be count is an act of inspiration. Perhaps our initial message has been lost along the way. Remember, “Let’s Connect? Let’s Stay Connected?” Being connected we can collectively stand up and be counted for fighting childhood and adult obesity; for rejecting pesticide-laden and genetically modified foods; for working together to improve our healthy eating circumstances; for helping others in need of healthy food; and building communities: near and far. This is the collective Why! 

Each of us will have our own personal reasons why like:

Susan in Florida who is committed to growing food in her garden space to share with those in need in her community and at the hospitals. All she needs are volunteers to take the homegrown produce to schools and hospitals.

And, there’s Stella Jane in Portland. She has so many ideas about how to reach out to women to grow food to embrace the love of our earth. 

And, there is the Victory Garden Peterson Project in Chicago. Starting with just a few neighbors growing small plots of food, this garden has become such a popular space for growth that the project is highlighted at the Smithsonian. 

What about Mom’s Garden in Kansas who simply says I grow my food for my family because then I know they are eating healthy.

Dawn on the Farm in Tennessee grows food for family and the local farmers market.

And Gary in Berkeley who only uses reclaimed materials to build his garden fixtures and has never used herbicides or pesticides in his garden.

The Oregonia TC Farm in Berkeley has unused land for growing food although a large portion of the space is used for fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

There’s the First Timers Paradise Garden in Missouri – a new gardener who has been growing in pots and is now ready to expand the love.

The Sarah & Corey's Garden grows food for their family and to donate to the local food bank.

Teaching her daughters to garden is the reason why MawMaw’s Garden is growing food in Indiana.
The Garden of Hope in Texas is growing food for anyone that needs it.

Garden Eats in Oakland has an abundance of fruit, vegetables, and herbs for neighbors.

These are just a few reasons why we are challenging everyone to grow their food at and near home. There are hundreds more reasons why. While 190 people have taken the challenge to place their gardens on the map; over 400 more people are fans on Facebook and following on Twitter showing they are taking the challenge – take the challenge by registering garden projects to be placed on the map to Connect and Stay Connected with a network of like-minded people around the globe who are not only concerned about the food we eat; but who are doing something about it!

Why Grow Food at Home

More Nutritious
The food that you grow at or near home is garden to table providing you with more nutrition that you might get from produce grown in a commercial setting thousands of miles away. Did you know that it can take up to 15 days from harvest to your grocery store? 

Less Expensive
When you calculate that a package of vegetable seeds cost about $2.00 and can yield 10 – 50 plants producing pounds of food; that’s about 20 cents to 4 cents a plant. You spend about $2.00 for a bunch of vegetables. You can continue to do the math. Save money.

When you grow your food at home; you may can, freeze, and otherwise store your abundance. But sharing your abundance with others is one of the greatest acts of kindness.

Build Community
Growing your food at home is also a way to build your community. Let your neighbors know what you are doing and you could find that you are sharing the work load and the harvest. You may plan with your neighbors what each will grow and what you’ll do with your abundance. This is just one way to build your community – one neighbor at a time. 

Organize a small or large group of neighbors to grow some of the food to give to a local food bank, school or church, to elderly and disabled, to families in need. 

Why? Because you owe it to yourself, family, neighbors and those you can connect with to share: gardening knowledge, abundance, and love. Go ahead, take a minute and register you as a supporter of growing your food at home or register your garden showing the action that you are taking.

Let's stay connected. There will be more to do after this weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Be the Inspiration ~

We're coming down the stretch ~
We are just days away (4 to be exact!) from the 350 Victory Garden Challenge weekend on May 14th/15th. It has been an incredible ride so far as we have been working hard preparing projects and people for the big weekend. We can hardly believe it is almost here, can you?

Currently there are 187 garden projects registered through the 350 Victory Foundation website. We are over halfway to our goal! We can do this. By registering our garden actions we are participating in a wonderful movement toward greater sustainability by growing our own food and inspiring other people to do the same. Let’s be the inspiration we all seek during a time when it is much needed.

Thinking about registering a garden project, but not sure why or what? Keep it simple. Truly, if it is one plant, one pot, one garden bed, it counts! It is one more action toward moving our world toward a healthy and sustainable climate.

Here is the scoop on the 350 Victory Garden Challenge:

YOU! And all of the other challengers across the globe working in the garden over the weekend.

The 350 Victory Garden Challenge is a spin-off of the 350 Home and Garden Challenge where in one weekend folks from across the country take action. And by action we mean ANY effort in the garden or home that moves you, your community, and the earth toward greater sustainability. Every action counts no matter how big or how small it is.

This weekend! That would be May 14th/15th. Anytime this weekend. YOU choose! Can’t make it happen THIS weekend? ...Register your project anyway, it counts!

YOU decide! Keep it private at home in your own backyard, on your own balcony or porch, with your neighbors, or take it public in a community garden project or beyond. It is completely up to you!

To participate, simply register your garden action on our website. It’s simple. Answer a few questions about your project and that is it! Done.

Pick up and Deliver Compost!
Feeling at a loss for ideas? We got some!

  • Mulch a garden bed.
  • Feed your plants some organic goodness.
  • Plant an herb pot, bed or garden.
  • Do some much needed weeding.
  • Dig or turn a garden bed.
  • Sow some of your favorite veggie or herb seeds.
  • Build a raised bed.
  • Join in with a project already happening in your neighborhood or town .

Friday, May 6, 2011

Peaceful Woods Shares!

We’re dedicating this blog entry to one of our 350 Victory Garden Challengers – Peaceful Woods. Peaceful Woods is an example of the Victory Garden spirit of sharing. Send your stories to

I started out the first year, doing the containers with vegetable seedlings to hand out. All these pots (and hundreds more) came from the Landfill folks who saved them for me (in exchange for brownies!).

What I found, was that I could not fit a large number, in my vehicle. So, I wasn't helping a lot of people. But the large container IS good for the very elderly and disabled, who most likely cannot handle a garden in the ground. 

I don't know if this is right or not, but to make the pots easier for the fragile seniors to move around, I put some styrofoam peanuts in to lighten the load. Our hospital donated bags of the peanuts. 

So, I met Dawn at a Farm Seminar and she was selling the styrofoam trays at an incredible price, compared to what I had seen locally. and you have her email address.

Here is another idea..set up a long table at a Food Bank, or a Senior Center, or near the Unemployment office..ask a local charity to donate the potting soil and to buy the styrofoam trays..bring popsicle sticks like you get at the craft store..

Set it up so the people needing help can fill a tray with the potting soil, then pick out from an array of put into ONE styrofoam tray. Identify the rows of a certain vegetable with the popsicle stick. Let them take it home and float it in water till ready for planting. Make sure to give one page instructions for each vegetable.

Another idea..Wal-Mart, Target do community work..ask them for funds to buy small kiddie pools..which you give out one kiddie pool to a family (they cost $10.00) So they can take it home with the styrofoam tray and they have enough to get started with a very nice garden.

We have a large nursery that donated potting soil, but they ALSO let us have all the used potting soil we wanted. That saved us a lot of $.

This would be a good project at school..teaching the kids about growing a garden..they keep part to take home and plant..and they donate part to help others. Good Community Service. 

I missed my opportunity to do this project this spring, in time for planting. One of my cows accidentally tipped me over and I broke 3 rib, so I got a late start. At present, I am growing seedlings hydroponically, and I have transferred them to raised beds at my farm. I have talked to our Hospital Administrator at work about offering this opportunity to the employees who are not in the high income "helping our own family". I am hoping he will see it is the right thing to do, and we can do it for Fall Gardens.

I actually heard of a housekeeper who was telling me they had been foreclosed on, were now living in a rental, and the husband was missing his garden..So I went to my hydroponic table and picked out a selection of seedlings that were ready, put them in a $1.00 shoe box, and gave it to her. Enough for a garden, and it cost hardly anything. I think we should call them "Shoe Box Gardens".

My biggest challenge is figuring out WHEN to start planting the specific vegetables and herbs in my trays to start growing what grows when. I am in Central Florida. I would like to focus on vegetables that are perennials, heirlooms, and could be grown easily.

If anyone is interested in doing something similar; I believe there are funds out there that will be available. Local Foundations are very interested in making sure people have food and if a group or an individual would do a COLLABORATION with someone like the United Way; they would be more successful in being heard. Even the schools have Grant writers.

Thank you for listening. Feel free to use any of these ideas, and folks can contact me.
Susan Lancto, RN CCRN

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Plant Treats

2011 350 HOME & GARDEN CHALLENGE: *Plant Treats* from TINBIKE on Vimeo.

Go ahead - Plant Treats! Yum! Register your project actions and your gardens
We Owe it to the Next Generations!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Revolution is Televised in San Francisco

"The changes you want to see need to start in your community!"

And, the Wigg Party takes it to the streets on the ground level in The Wiggle. Be inspired ... start your revolution in your neighborhood to be the change you want to see.

See the revolution televised in San Francisco. Check out the Wigg Party: The Wigg Party is a community organization working to make the neighborhood surrounding the Wiggle a leader in the transformation to sustainability and resilience.

Take Action | 350 Home & Garden Challenge | May 14 & 15, 2011
Transition US is working with a growing number of organizations to bring this movement alive and collectively mobilize.  Our first challenge in 2011 takes place in May.  Together, through individual and community-wide actions, we will show our fellow citizens the power we hold as a movement.  Learn more about what you can do to start organizing today. 

Transition US is the national hub for the Transition Town Movement which was started in the UK in 2005. Our mission is to catalyze the building of resilient communities by inspiring, encouraging, supporting, networking and training individuals and their communities as they consider, adopt, adapt and implement the Transition model.  To sign up for our monthly newsletter please visit