How Does Your Garden Grow?

As we’ve talked about before, Chicago was Victory Garden Central during WWII. During the war, 1,500 urban gardens popped up, the North Park neighborhood had the largest garden in the country, and tons of food was produced.

Victory gardening was a way for the nation to prioritize its major agricultural resources. Large-scale farming operations could concentrate of the crops needed to feed armies and keep the homefront going with things that couldn’t be effectively gardened, like wheat and corn. Vegetables, which were nutritionally important, and possible to grow at home, were outsourced to the populace, largely women.

The Peterson Garden Project carries on that legacy, by providing space and education for urban gardening. I garden at Vedgewater, at the corner of Broadway and Rosemont. A garden on top of concrete lot, it definitely meets the “urban” requirement. I can see the Red Line “L” train go by from my plot.

Where would you buy ground cherries, for instance?

While I am not producing enough food to make it through rationing, it is a nice addition to our purchased food. I am definitely keeping us in greens. The real retrofitting value lies in feeling more connected to the weather, nature, and my neighbors. I’m also able to grow older and interesting varieties of vegetables, that don’t have enough appeal/ease of growing/etc to be available commercially.
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Maker Monday: 2016 #VintagePledge

I’m not the only one who loves to make things…

The world (and Internet) is full of makers. That’s why I’ve joined the 2016 Vintage Pledge. Thanks to fellow blogger Raven Gemini of Revisionist Vintage, I actually remembered that the Vintage Pledge is a thing, and signed up for it.

The basics are thus:

Sewists and knitters around the globe commit to using vintage or reproduction patterns to make a number of things of their choosing. They share their projects on a dedicated Pinterest board, and use the #VintagePledge hashtag, and eventually there are prizes and such. It’s a great way to see what other people are up to. I’m in it for the inspiration.

vintage pledge 2016So here’s my #VintagePledge:

I, Megan, pledge to make at least three vintage style garments, using fabric and patterns I already own.

This is what’s known in the crafty world as “stash busting.” As a person with very limited storage space, I’m sure my fabric stash pales in comparison to many. This is fine by me. I want to be a person who uses fabric, not a person who stores it. I have two dresser drawers devoted to fabric, and I try hard to keep it strictly to that. However, lately it’s been getting a little crammed in there. There are some pieces I’ve been saving for “something special” which so far seems to mean, “the inside of this drawer.” It’s time for them to live their best life.

This should be fun.

Maker Monday

Making things is starting a (minor) revolution.

With a new year, and the cold, clear days, it’s easy to get introspective. And so I have. As I think about all the things that bring me joy, it’s easy to cast myself as scattered. I like so many different things, lots of them at least vaguely domestic. But as I look more deeply, I find my various interests all fall under one big umbrella: I really like to make stuff.

Me and my new best friend, the Food Strainer-Saucemaker.

Writing a play, knitting a sweater, baking a loaf of bread–these are all essentially creative acts. It’s self-expression through concrete forms. It’s sculpture, but instead of clay, I use ideas, and words, and yarn, and flour.  Continue reading

DIY: Humidifier

It’s cold in the Midwest, my friends.

The temperature is low, the freeze is on, and moreover, the air is dry. Dry, dry, dry. The steam heat radiators in our apartment go full blast at night (so vintage, so charming, so very loud) and while it’s nice to be warm, they obliterate any moisture in the air.

We apparently own a humidifier. It’s supposedly in the basement. This was not a thing I knew when, in the middle of the night, feeling like I was slowly becoming a human raisin, I decided to throw a wet towel on the radiator.

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Month of Vintage Underwear: Days 5-6 DIY

I’d like people to believe that I DIY a lot of stuff because I’m inventive and scrappy.

It’s really because I’m cheap.

For example, I have wanted a flannel full slip for a long time. I had one as a little girl, but finding one at all for an adult has been hard. More than that, the ones I can find seem a little pricey.

Enter a thrift store night gown. I was wandering the aisles of my favorite neighborhood thrift store, when I saw the most comfy looking nightgown. It was quite a bit too big for me, but the flannel was heavy and soft, and pretty. It was $3. “I could make a slip out of that,” I thought to myself.

And I did.

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