Filed under: Business + Politics, Farmer Stories, Local Events + Action | Tags: Home Garden, Rationing, Victory Garden, World War 2, WWII
What is a Victory Garden? A Victory Garden is a kitchen garden planted to relieve food shortages. Victory gardens were very commonplace during World War II. World War II began in September 1939 and by January 1940 the United States began rationing food. The government asked people to plant gardens to support the troops. By growing their own food, it freed up commercially farmed fruits and vegetables for troops overseas.
By 1943 over 20 million Victory Gardens had sprung up throughout the United States in backyards, empty lots, even on rooftops in the city. As people began growing their own food canning became very popular so produce could be used outside of the growing season. The result? The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that during the war almost 10 million tons of fruits and vegetables were harvested at home and in the community.
My great grandmother had a victory garden and grew enough vegetables to supply fresh produce to some of her neighbors that were working in a defense plant. She even built a root cellar where she kept potatoes, onions and canned vegetables and fruits to use during the winter months. She continued planting gardens and harvesting the bounty until her death at the age of 80.
When WWII ended the government stopped promoting Victory Gardens. For many decades urban agriculture and home gardens fell by the wayside. Driven by the economy many people are turning to home gardening this summer to supplement their diets. The recent revival of Victory Gardens leaves one question – have you decided what you’re planting this summer?
-Megan Richards, Group 1 – blog post
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