Victory Gardens

The hoe in the backyard is mighty good backing for the flag on the front porch.1.

vic4Victory Gardens, War Gardens, or Food Gardens for Defence were popular in WW1 and WW2 as a way to combat the food shortages of the times and to free food resources for military operations.  It was patriotic to grow vegetables and to preserve food for winter use.  Home gardens and community gardens in public parks were a source of civic pride as gardeners fed their families and helped the war effort by being self-sufficient.  Home gardening, food preservation, and economic cooking was the patriotic duty of the home front.

Today there is a resurgence in gardening and in eating wholesome fresh foods. Community spaces are once again being converted to garden plots. In Chilliwack BC, where I live, a downtown lot was converted to raised-bed gardens with each plot assigned to a needy family who agree to donate half to a local mission for the hungry.

Vancouver BC has its own Victory Gardens today as people utilize public and private space around them for food production. People are encouraged to be food heros and to grow their own.  Community urban gardens increase food sustainability and can be found on balconies and on boulevards. In some areas lawn size is diminished to create space for planters. Restaurants are experimenting with growing salad crops to serve the freshest food to their patrons.

Vegetable seeds have improved over the years to provide resistance to plant diseases, to mature in a shorter growing season, to yield in containers, and to enhance flavors.

Commercial produce travels a great distance to market, which requires high energy and increased costs.  In Canada with most of our winter produce coming from the US, fluctuation in currency can cause produce prices to spiral.

Victory Gardens were successful in wartime years and have much to offer us today.  They are an opportunity to cut expensive food costs, grow healthier foods, and offer more variety in our food choices.

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About Linda C Butler

I write pioneer stories from the Herb Lake Ghost Town in Manitoba. Please do not re-blog this material or re-publish without my permission.
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