I love the idea of Victory Gardens. During WWI and WWII, people were encouraged to plant gardens to supplement their rations, reduce pressure on the public food supply, and to boost morale. What a lovely…and important…way for individual families to do their part to support a cause larger than themselves.
Is it possible to bring back that spirit of community and a desire to work for the greater good? I’m not sure. I’d like to think so, however. I believe our society as become too “me” focused and we’ve forgotten that we are better together. If planting Victory Gardens can help us regain even a tiny bit of that spirit I think we should be promoting the concept widely.
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My mom recently ran across an old photo album with pictures from her childhood. My grandfather had a great interest in photography and at one point even set up a dark room so he could develop his own film. The wonderful thing about this is that he took a lot of photos – way more than was usual for that time period.
The photos that really captured my attention were the ones of his Victory Garden. They lived in a small, two-bedroom house in Santa Monica with just an average size backyard. The photos show that he had turned most of that yard into a thriving Victory Garden.
Grandpa was an excellent cook so I’m sure he made good use of the vegetables he grew. He was also amongst the first scuba divers off the coast of Southern California and spent most weekends on the beach catching lobsters, abalone, and crab. My mom recalls complaining about having to eat lobster. Poor thing.
Having almost starved as a child, food was very important to Grandpa and he made sure his family was always plentifully supplied with delicious, nourishing food. His garden was an important part of that during the war years and beyond.
My mom standing in Victory Garden
I’ve dabbled with gardening in the past but I’m very much interested in “digging in” more seriously this year. Several years ago David built me two large raised beds. And of course, with 40 acres we have plenty of space if I choose to do more.
My first step is to improvise a green house so I can start some seeds. I have a plan for this and we have the necessary materials. I hope to get it done this weekend. If it works out the way I’ve envisioned I’ll share a picture.
If you, too, are interested in Victory Gardens you might enjoy the following videos and articles.
History of Victory Gardens:
How to Start Your Own Victory Garden:
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