Let’s Bring Back Victory Gardens


victory garden cover

Forty-one percent of the produce Americans consumed in 1943 was grown in Victory Gardens across the country. How about if we roll up our sleeves and match that great generation?

With the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Stamp Program slated for drastic cuts over the next 10 years, I wonder how 48 million recipients are being advised to adjust. Cuts loom ahead, too, for Social Security and other benefit programs.

Is home gardening ever encouraged as a way to offset the escalating cost of, well, everything?

Some say it is cruel to ask people to grow some of their food as Americans did during the first two world wars. News from then, however, indicates people felt proud to contribute, saved money, had better health and enjoyed gardening with family and friends.

We agree. Also, we are certain our food is organic. How did gardens (and clotheslines!) ever become symbols of poverty anyway? We consider them icons of abundance, fitness and good stewardship.

One of my favorite gardening guides is a World War II booklet International Harvester Company printed that covers everything from cold frames to hot beds and root cellars. “Get at the garden in time. Make a plan for it. Hang it on the wall. Talk about it … Make up your mind when you will plant the different things—then plant them,” the booklet advises.

10/30/2013 11:44:36 AM

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