25 Mar Victory Gardens
For those wondering (or for those in my generation), the concept of Victory Gardens/War Gardens started in war time. The idea was that if every family planted their needed veggies, fruit and herbs, they would be more self-reliant and less dependent on a food system. According to Wikipedia, it reduced the pressure on the public food supply. The gardens were also a morale booster as people reaped the benefits of growth.
I’m wondering if it even had a mental health component. Many of us receive reprieve, relaxation and satisfaction from working in our gardens. It is the first place I hit on a sunny afternoon and I know that many of you do as well. I wonder if families keeping busy working in Victory Gardens reduced the depression that can come with war times? I know for sure that it kept people busy-which is always good medicine-and taught the children valuable lessons in growing and storing their own food. That doesn’t even count the amazing work ethic they likely developed by working hard on their land.
First-hand accounts of Victory Gardens include memories of using the wares to trade for other necessities. In addition, families stored the goods via canning and as a result were able to reap the benefits year-round.
Although I have always encouraged families to grow, I would argue that there is no better time than now to start a Victory Garden. My friend Joe Lamp’l started a challenge that I am also starting this week. His goal is to grow enough food this summer for his family of four on only $25.00. He is not using any of his current gardening supply, including compost. He is using materials he can find for free through Freecycle, etc and even recycling some odd-ball items including TP cardboard rolls and plastic cake containers. He’s been quite clever so far-I only hope that I can be as clever. See Joe’s progress.
Yes, I do grow food every year as you know. But I have never, ever in my life used less than $25.00 and I depend greatly on my current gardening supplies. So this will be a challenge to me. (especially with two teens with bottomless pits for stomachs in the house)
Won’t you join us?