WHY YOU NEED A VICTORY GARDEN RIGHT NOW
Over 100 years ago, when World War One was raging, and supplies on the home front were becoming so scarce that the government began rationing the basics, the idea of small subsistence farming took root…so to speak. People started planting small crops in their yards and in public spaces to grow food to help feed their families.
These little gardens were supported and encouraged by the government because they freed resources to concentrate on the war effort. They were highly successful and became a source of pride and became affectionately known as “victory gardens.” During the Great Depression and again to a much larger extent during World War Two, the victory Garden became a big part of American life.
Today we have a different enemy, and it's called COVID-19. We're fighting a war against a global pandemic, and just like our forefathers in World War Two, our resources have been hit hard. Our supply chains have been stretched to capacity, and we have all seen the effects when we go to the supermarket only to find the shelves empty.
Wouldn't it be great to have fresh vegetables available at hand? Also, many of us have lost our jobs, and money is tight. Finding a way to save money on food is a big plus. So, growing our victory garden right now makes sense for a lot of reasons.
WHERE DO I START?
A Victory Garden is simple, versatile and there is no limit to the imagination. You can use planter boxes, pots, small patches of a yard – whatever you have available. In a pinch, you can even grow plants right from a bag of soil.
During wartime, people improvised. They used rooftops, window sills, backyards, and even public areas. It's important to choose a location that has plenty of sunlight. Ideally, a space of 3′ by 6′ is what you should aim for to grow enough vegetables for a family of four. There are no hard and fast rules here. The idea is to plant what you can with what space you have.
To begin, you will need to select several different kinds of vegetable seeds to plant. Quick growing leafy greens like arugula, bok choy, and Swiss chard should be planted first, followed by zucchini and cucumbers. Other crops, like broccoli, tomatoes, and peppers, can be started in a pot indoors and gradually moved outside when the weather improves depending on where you live. It's also possible to get various fruits like hanging strawberries and even dwarf apple trees that do well in small spaces such as apartment patios. Your victory garden will be limited only by your imagination.
For an interesting resource from World War Two, here's a link to The Victory Garden Handbook, originally published in 1943. Click Here
It's also essential to plant a few flowers because they attract pollinators, which helps the growing process. Also, during times of crisis, it's nice to have some fresh flowers to cheer up the house.
It's important to fertilize the soil, and although you can purchase it, why not get into the spirit of the whole thing and use composted table scraps instead. The important thing is to just do it! Start small and reap the results. Before you know it, your cupboards will be full!
Good Luck with your Victory Garden!
For some tips to really speed things up check the links below!