victory gardening

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”

Gertrude Jekyl – British horticulturist, garden designer, artist and writer

 

Plant it and it will grow!

Urban farming is a seed taking root across our great nation and that is a wonderful thing. Growing your own garden is fun and a great way to reduce your exposure to toxins.  Working the dirt and growing your own healthy colorful delicious nutrient dense foods also reduces stress and can reduce your food costs!   Not too long ago in our history, a garden was a symbol of patriotism  –  Victory – conserving resources to support and win a war.

Victory Gardens, also called “war gardens” or “food gardens for defense”, were gardens planted both at private residences and on public land during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. These gardens produced up to 41 percent of all the vegetable produce that was consumed in the nation.

-City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in America, Laura Lawson

 

The Victory Garden was about sustainability and self-sufficiency.

This came at a time when a great war was raging in Europe and the Pacific.  It is absolutely amazing that during World War II, 20 Million regular normal average people planted, cultivated and tended 40% of the nations food supply…  just think about that for a minute!

Then consider this… at no other time in the history of the world have we ever been so disassociated with our food supply… and even if you don’t know it, there is a great war raging… one where several biotech corporations control a major portion of our seed supply.  They are manipulating the genome of those seeds – in ways which could never occur in Nature – and manipulating those genes in ways that are not as precise as we are led to believe.  The two most pervasive practices are (1) inserting genes which generate their own insecticides and (2) that are herbicide resistant – resulting in a greater use of the herbicide RoundUp and just as alarming, RoundUp resistant weeds!  A great majority of  Americans feel that this is an irresponsible and unsustainable use of technology.   Patenting seeds is patenting life.

Right now, as much as 86 percent of corn, 90 percent of all soybeans and nearly 93 percent of cotton being GM varieties, unless you grow a major portion of your food or always eat organic, you are more than likely eating genetically modified food.

A recent poll conducted by the New York Times reveals that Americans want GMO foods labelled!

Americans overwhelmingly support labeling foods that have been genetically modified or engineered, according to a New York Times poll conducted this year, with 93 percent of respondents saying that foods containing such ingredients should be identified. Three-quarters of Americans expressed concern about genetically modified organisms in their food, with most of them worried about the effects on people’s health.

 

Yet  biotech corporations have repeatedly opposed  and successfully lobbied against any legislation requiring labeling.  How can this be when we are a nation of democracy, where every voice counts?  We pride ourselves on choice – shouldn’t we have choices on matters as personal as the food we consume?  The good news is that the failure of Prop 37 – a GMO Labeling initiative – in California inspired other states to try too and not there are currently over two dozen states considering GMO legislation!

In that light, Victory Gardens (and prayer for the leaders and scientists of our biotech corporations!) are much needed again.   Even if you have not a lot of space, container patio gardens can grow an abundance of tomatoes, herbs, potatoes (which are so easy to harvest from a patio pot!), carrots and anything else you think to try!  Every little bit counts!

We love our Victory Garden… it’s a place to renew our connection with the land, cultivate our earth and enjoy and share our bounties… as we nourish our bodies we tend and cultivate our hearts too…

So this page is dedicated to anyone with a Victory Garden who wants to share or inspire your fellow gardeners, friends and eaters everywhere.  We’ll be posting photos of our garden through the seasons and hope that you’ll let us have a peek at yours too!  Send a photo of your garden to nourishinggrace@yahoo.com and your pictures will be posted here, with your town and state.