In Lieu of Fireworks This July Fourth

Vintage postcard via Photobucket
We can’t have fireworks in Texas, y’all. Not even on the Fourth of July.

Not that I mind too much, because I live in fear of accidentally burning myself with a lit match. Again. Still, I like a little BOOM! on the Fourth. (From a comfortable distance.)

So I’ve been thinking about what to do Monday in lieu of sitting out front and craning my neck to see a fragment of the nightly display shot off at a nearby amusement park. (See? I said I like fireworks from a “distance.”) I mean, that marvelous annual party up (Costumes! Games! Prizes!) in Chicago a the Peterson Garden is a bit far for driving. I even wondered aloud yesterday to friends in a tiny, private corner of the social media world if “a Fourth without fireworks” wasn’t maybe divine inspiration for a children’s book. Sort of “A Year Without Santa Claus,” but with Uncle Sam and hotdogs. (We’d keep the Heat Miser, naturally.)

Then, as she’s prone to do, Teresa O’Conner of Seasonal Wisdom shared an inspired link:

A few hours later, another friend commented via Twitter on a “food independence” story that ran on NPR. A little Google search and I found this transcript from Science Friday:

IRA FLATOW, host: When you think of the Founding Fathers, where do you see them? Waging war at Lexington, Concord, Brooklyn; maybe gathered around the table, signing the “Declaration of Independence.” Or how about seeding rose in their gardens? Have you ever imagine Jefferson stooped over a tomato plant? Well, it turns out that the first four presidents were avid gardeners. Their estates were home to huge plots of fruits, vegetables and ornamentals. Some of them experimented with exotic crops like African okra, sesame, and others insisted on cultivating America’s native plants.

And while the farmers of the Constitution garden for many of the same reasons that we do today – to relax in the outdoors, to have some fresh food ready at hand, or for the simple pleasure of working the soil – their gardens were more than that. They were the first truly American gardens inspired by European designs, but infused with a rugged, independent nature that made them sort of a political statement as well. Yankee ingenuity. Read more.

Music and a taste of our patriotic gardening heritage. A way to share it online, thereby exercising my Freedom of Speech. There. Yes, all better.

Happy Fourth of July!

Red, White & Grew promotes the victory garden revival and other simple, soulful and earth-friendly endeavors as patriotic acts in an age of uncertainty. Interact with us on Twitter and Facebook.