Victory Gardens

Victory Gardens

This has been my best year yet for my container veggie-and-herb garden. At least it started out great.

Container garden in the spring.

Here in Florida, the soil is super-sandy. Hard to grow anything in it and hard to improve it. I tried for three years, then gave up and went almost 100% to containers.

That definitely helped. But then there’s the sun. And bugs. And strange little plant diseases. It’s tough to grow food in the summer in Florida! That must be why the biggest farmers market in town shuts down June thru September.

But we got a nice – although small – harvest before it got too hot …

Homegrown Goodness

In the 1940s, the United States was experiencing the horrors of World War II. Although processed convenience foods had been growing in popularity since World War I (see my post on Processed Food History), the government now encouraged U.S. citizens to plant “Victory Gardens” to support the war effort. Grow more food at home … depend less on the food industry so we can feed our soldiers.

Millions of Americans planted millions of gardens and produced tons of home- grown, organic Real Food. At a time when citizens were required to ration their food – the government restricted the amount of meat, sugar, dairy and coffee that was permitted each week – planting and harvesting a Victory Garden truly felt like a small victory … and a patriotic one at that.

People planted tiny plots, wherever they could find space in the ground, or joined together with other families to plant large, cooperative gardens. I like to think that, at least in hot, sunny Florida, maybe there were a few Container Victory Gardens!

Whether they realized it or not, people were making healthier diet choices because of all the organic veggies they added to their meals. Just a couple generations earlier, our ancestors seriously depended on their backyard gardens to feed their families. Gardening in the days of the pioneers was a necessity … as well as a pleasure for many.

The Modern Pioneer Victory Garden

Today I see a similar fascination with having your own garden. You probably have one or know a few people who do. And just like it did in the ’40s, gathering produce from your own back yard (or rooftop or patio, as the case may be) feels rather victorious.

As JB Bardot said in NaturalNews,

“The concept of victory over adversity in an economy that has broken millions of citizens and torn apart age-old communities still straining with the burden of war, has again reared its hopeful head from under the trash heap of discarded junk food and processed packages of chemicals and crap. Backyard gardens promise natural foods that fortify and nurture the body and the earth; along with the freedom to choose what to plant and what to eat — offering a new version of an old way of living.”

A new version of an old way of living indeed … that’s the Modern Pioneer way!!

So how does your garden grow??


2 responses

  1. Your garden looks great. I can’t wait for you to see ours. Squash bugs have killed 4 yellow squash plants and 4 zucc’s. I replaced two zucc’s last week and I am on the hunt for 2 more and 4 yellow squash plants. Finding healthy plants this time of year is hard. I should have started my own seeds.

    My tomatoes have had blight almost their whole growing season. When I first discovered the blight, I looked up an organic way to treat it. Milk, baking soda, water, and dish soap were the ingredients suggested by Walter Reeves, GA Master Gardener. I picked all the yellow spotted leaves off, as he suggested, and doused the plants with the mixture. The blight returned after a few days. I started asking other local gardeners what they did. They all said to just leave it alone if my plants were indeterminie, which they all are. So, the plants aren’t very pretty but they continue to grow yummy tomatoes.

    Other than the squash dying and the ugly tomato plants, the rest of the garden is flourishing. Peppers, cucumbers, canteloupe, asparagus, strawberriess, beans, red potatoes, tomatoes, watermelon, sweet potato, basil, lemon balm, mint, and basil. I love my raised beds with no weeding. I added the sweet potato bed a couple of weeks ago and used the rich, dark, and stinky compost from our huge compost pile. Interestingly, many other cute plants are popping up from the compost material.


    • We lost yellow squash, zucchini, cucumber, canteloupe, and we’re in the process of losing strawberries. Peppers, tomatoes, leeks, herbs did great, and I’m trying sweet potatoes for the first time. I read that sweet potatoes prefer NOT to be fertilized, composted, etc., but actually do well in poor soil. If that’s true, we should have a wonderful harvest of them!!

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