Victory Gardens, also called “war gardens” or “food gardens for defense” were gardens planted by ordinary citizens during World War I and World War II to provide some relief in the public food demands. Ordinary citizens were growing tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beets, and peas. Victory gardens introduced us to Swiss chard and kohlrabi because they were easy to grow.
Grow Your Own Food Victory gardens are “cropping up” across the United States and Canada. Victory gardens were considered a civil morale booster.
Victory gardens gave Americans on the home front a sense of purpose and a way to contribute to the war effort while also providing the food needed to sustain a nation during a time of need. But after the war ended in 1945, victory gardens began to disappear. Grocery stores and commercial food began to become more widely available so most Americans didn’t see the need to grow anymore. Gardening became a hobby rather than a necessity for most people.
The food supply and state of health in our country are once again facing new challenges. As a nation, we do not consume enough fruits and vegetables. A large portion of our food makes long journey before even hitting our tables, losing nutrients along the way. A sizable percentage of our food is grown with pesticides. And rising food prices (especially for organic food) only exacerbates the problem. Today, because many have concerns about the quality of our food, home gardening is making a resurgence.
Not only is gardening an excellent way to reduce your grocery bill, but it is also a great way to bring your family (and neighborhood) together.
- Growing your own fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to stretch your food budget.
- Homegrown vegetables provide readily-available nutrition (every day a vegetable is off the vine it loses its health benefits).
- No harmful chemicals are sprayed on your veggies.
- It would provide fresh air and outdoor exercise for the whole family.
- Forges bonding experiences for family and community members.
- Allows you to control your food supply and be more self-sufficient.
- Gardening is a great activity to help relieve stress and improve sleep quality.
- Reduces your carbon footprint.
- Statistically, gardeners live longer!