Saturday, February 7, 2009

Garden of Eatin'

Hello, and welcome to The Obama Garden. 

Look, this is a tough time for our country. A lot of people have lost their jobs, almost 600,000 last month alone, (7.6% unemployment at the time I wrote this,) and a lot more people are going to lose their jobs (perhaps 3.2 million more people in 2009.) 

If you don't lose your job, someone you know probably will. A lot of people are going to have some very hard times. A lot of people are going to have to choose between feeding their families or keeping their house. Perhaps the choice will be between buying food or paying exorbitant COBRA health insurance rates. Or buying prescription medicine. 

A lot of people are going to be eating little but ramen or rice. 

It's a terrible time, maybe as terrible as the Great Depression, when Americans starved to death or came darn close to it. 

Here's my opinion: This is America. We have fertile land and strong hands and open hearts. Let's feed our friends. If we feed them, then they can use their money to keep their house or pay for COBRA or buy medicine. 

I'm not just talking about picking up some slimy canned green beans at the grocery store. These are really tough times. We need to not just shuffle money around but to add value to the economy.

We all need to plant a garden. 

Like WWII, when we planted Victory Gardens to help with the war effort, let's plant gardens to feed our friends and ourselves and add sustenance to the economy. 

If someone you know is out of work, take over a box and complain about the exuberant fertility of zucchini. If you don't know someone personally, your local food bank will. This year, they're going to get swamped. 

You can call it whatever you want: a Prosperity Garden, a Friends Garden, or a Helping Hands Garden. Me, I'm going to think of mine as an Obama Garden. 

President Obama is trying his best to lead us out of this economic morass. He's trying to help people stay in their homes and feed their families and pay for COBRA and get their kids some medical help. 

My Obama Garden is my small contribution to the huge job that he needs to do. 

A lot of people say that change is happening. Optimism prevails. That's great. 

Obama can't do it alone. He can't go to the house of every person who's lost a job, comfort them, and personally help them. Even the federal government doesn't have that much money. 

This is just the first post of many, I hope. It's February, and it's time to start planning my Obama Garden. 

TK Kenyon,  
Author of RABID and CALLOUS: Two novels about science and religion, with some sex and murder.

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