Monday, April 27, 2009

I make bean-stalks, I'm / a builder, like yourself..."

image via: Sprouts on the Sidewalk (a really great blog on urban agriculture)

This past weekend on NPR's "The Splendid Table" Rosalind Creasy (she wrote "Recipes from the Garden") talked about the possibility and "why not?" of making front yards and lawns into vegetable gardens. Never mind the practically - there can be such new beauty in tomatoes instead of roses, lettuce instead of shrubs.

image via: The Blue Marble

I missed the Oprah episode, but other bloggers (like Lovely Little Things) talked about a family in California who did just that and turned their yard into an "Urban Homestead."
image via:

And, of course, with the White House digging up the South Lawn - is there really any excuse not to create and shape our own victory gardens? My front yard is a parking lot, but I think I'd like to give window sill gardening half a chance - fragrant herbs at my fingertips sounds like a very fine idea.

image also via: Sprouts on the Sidewalk
(also go here to read about victory gardens and see some great historical pictures and posters)

The Bean-Stalk
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ho, Giant! This is I!
I have built me a bean-stalk into your sky!
La,—but it's lovely, up so high!

This is how I came,—I put
Here my knee, there my foot,
Up and up, from shoot to shoot—
And the blessed bean-stalk thinning
Like the mischief all the time,
Till it took me rocking, spinning,
In a dizzy, sunny circle,
Making angles with the root,
Far and out above the cackle
Of the city I was born in,
Till the little dirty city
In the light so sheer and sunny
Shone as dazzling bright and pretty
As the money that you find
In a dream of finding money—
What a wind! What a morning!—

Till the tiny, shiny city,
When I shot a glance below,
Shaken with a giddy laughter,
Sick and blissfully afraid,
Was a dew-drop on a blade,
And a pair of moments after
Was the whirling guess I made,—
And the wind was like a whip

Cracking past my icy ears,
And my hair stood out behind,
And my eyes were full of tears,
Wide-open and cold,
More tears than they could hold,
The wind was blowing so,
And my teeth were in a row,
Dry and grinning,
And I felt my foot slip,
And I scratched the wind and whined,
And I clutched the stalk and jabbered,
With my eyes shut blind,—
What a wind! What a wind!

Your broad sky, Giant,
Is the shelf of a cupboard;
I make bean-stalks, I'm
A builder, like yourself,
But bean-stalks is my trade,
I couldn't make a shelf,
Don't know how they're made,
Now, a bean-stalk is more pliant—
La, what a climb!

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