Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rethinking the Victory Garden

There was a time, long before I was born, where Americans were actually encouraged to be self-reliant. I'm sure that everyone has heard of the "Victory Garden" effort of WWII. America was at war (sound familiar?), food was being rationed (starting to sound familiar?), and food costs and supplies needed to be kept in check to help support the war effort. America planted with ZEAL and Victory Gardens at one point provided up to 40 percent of the civilian food supply. The "Victory Garden" meant victory for America. I would like to suggest that we rethink the idea of a Victory Garden as a victory for your family and for our society in general. I have no doubt that there will soon be a uproar over the recent rationing of some foods in America. People will want the government to "do something" about the soaring food prices and global food shortages. I agree that the recent headlines are upsetting, and I hope that something will change in the near future so that prices and supplies return to normal levels (but goodness I hope that the government doesn't get TOO involved!). Until then, I am going to expand my Victory Garden and plan to win the war against ever climbing food prices.

If you would like to join me, you may have to *rethink* some of your perceptions:

Rethink your fear of time. Yes, a garden will take some time to plan, plant, maintain, and harvest. But you will be repaid in so many other ways and you will be doing something good for your family, the earth, and the economy.

Rethink your fear of work. A garden can require a bit of brow sweat, but how many of us take time each week to "workout" to burn calories. I KNOW that I used up alot of calories double digging my garden last weekend, and I will actually have something to show for it at the end of the gardening season besides a better figure. ;)

Rethink your fear of a lack of space. You can grow a lot of food in a container. You can grow herbs next to flowers. You can grow a LARGE amount of food from a small patch of dirt in the ground. Pick up the book "Square Foot Gardening" to help you get started.

Rethink your fear of the cost to get a garden started. Do you have a shovel and a spade? That's what you need to get started. If not, you can pick them up for a relatively cheap price. Buy the best that you can afford so that they will last. Use the spade to cut and remove your sod. Use the shovel to double dig and break up clumps. Add topsoil ($0.99 a bag on sale in my area) and some peat moss for an instant soil boost. Use a rake to spread and level. Use hand tools to plant. You can find inexpensive vegetable plants at your local garden center if you haven't started from seed. You DON'T have to have the latest garden tools or the newest tiller in order to have a successful garden. I don't even own a tiller. IMHO, it kills to many earthworms in my small garden so I always double dig. Gardening can and should be frugal!

Here is an interesting link in case you would like to read more:
Revive the Victory Garden!

I am off to bed now. Have a great night!


Kelly said...

We're planting fruit trees and berry bushes at our new home. Homeowners are so afraid of the "mess" that they leave, and they have no time to make jam or applesauce so they just don't plant them anymore. But in 5 years or so, I'm going to have a great supply of organic, locally grown fruit.

I have too many gardening relatives and neighbors to plant a vegetable garden. I just get their extras.

KitKat said...

I want to start palnting some fruit trees and berries bushes myself! I'm just starting to run out of space, so I need to get creative. It does take a bit for the fruit trees to establish themselves, but you will be so happy once you are reaping the benfits of your mini-orchard. :)

Sam said...

I absolutely agree. I just planted my own garden and i can't begin to say how much I've enjoyed it.