May 12, 2009

Victory Gardens Make a Comeback

Victory Gardens Make a Comeback [Main Story]

capAccording to Barbara Minton, victory gardens are making a comeback.* Last seen during World War II, these gardens now represent the fight to regain control of our lives and our health.

Minton writes: “World War II united people and allowed them to reach into the depths of themselves and pull up a resourcefulness they didn’t know they had. During this time of horror and hope people realized that they were living out a great saga in their lives, and in this saga they all had a part to play. The world was a violent and dramatic place, yet also an awakening happened, a vision of unity and understanding. The victory garden has come to symbolize this unity and vision.”

During the war it was emphasized that the produce from people’s urban and suburban gardens would help provide the nutritious food needed by the soldiers. It would also help keep the price of that food low so the War Department would have more money to spend on other military needs. Victory gardens would also help solve the shortages of labor and transportation that made it difficult to 
harvest and transport produce to market.

Booklets were mass-distributed, providing information about basic gardening techniques. In 1943, 20 million gardens were producing 8 million tons of food. Victory gardens were planted in backyards, apartment building roofs, vacant lots, and pretty much every available patch of dirt and container throughout the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Neighbors pooled their resources, planted different kinds of foods, and formed cooperatives.

Writes Minton: “Magazines printed stories about victory gardens, and women’s magazines provided instructions on how to grow and preserve garden produce. Sales of pressure cookers to use in canning skyrocketed as families were encouraged to can their own vegetables. Home canners used nontoxic glass mason jars. The government and businesses urged families to make gardening a group effort. At the peak of the effort, 9-10 million tons of produce was produced, an amount equal to all commercial production. Even children and teenagers willingly took part in the work of the garden.

“The victory garden was clearly a victory on many levels.” Now they’re making a return, this time for health and economic reasons. But how strong a comeback? Only time will tell.
*“Victory Gardens Symbolize a New Age,” Natural News, Aug. 23, 2008.