The Question was - don't think I'd be interested. Not at this time would be a better answer for me. I would jerk up my rose garden in a minute (I have 21 bushes), and put catfish in the pool if I thought it was necessary. I don't have a lot of other sunny space, but I'm sure we could survive if necessary. Hopefully it won't come to this.
For those of you too young to know what a victory garden is: It is a vegetable garden that everyone who could, plants vegetables to feed their families in time of war in case food supplies are cut off or rationed. During "The Big One"(WW2), there were "ration" stamps issued which entitled the bearer to a certain amount of staples like flour, sugar, coffee, etc. each month. So people raised as much of their own as possible. This was because much of the farmed food went to feed the troops. I was just a child but I do remember that we learned not to waste food, or anything else for that matter. It makes me ill to think how wasteful so many people are today - it's hard for me to keep still when I hear folk's say "we don't eat leftovers". My children and I were raised on them!
Azalea, I know what you mean about being raised & raising kids on leftovers - that's certainly what we're doing & have been doing. Waste not, want not ;-) As for Victory Garden, true, not planning one in the WWII sense, but I've been wanting to grow one in the style of the WWII ones for a while. Would like more info, to. Lists of what were planted, especially with the old varieties named, if possible, would be cool.
Anytime I manage to grow something and beat the critters to eating it is a huge Victory! Every flower the blooms and leaf that buds out in the spring is a victory...I guess that makes every garden a Victory garden in my eyes!
I grow a big garden every year, can and freeze a lot of it, store spuds in boxes, hang onions in big braids, dehydrate some things, and we eat a lot fresh. I agree that people are awfully wasteful here in North America, and I suppose it was the reaction to having to scrimp and save and do without things during the war, and it has now become a way of life. We need to change that. We could feed a lot of hungry people on what we throw out.
I guess we've always done this, and although I don't remember WWII except in the genetic memory sense, I think it's always good to be able to feed yorself and your family. My gardens are much smaller than when my girls were little - then we raised an acre of veggies for the four of us and prided ourselves on having "all homegrown" meals right down to the dessert. Now, because of my limitations, I raise a fraction of the produce those gardens gave us and preserve much less. But, next year I'm going to work out some solutions for the limitations and see how much we can get out of the garden.
For those who are interested in an historic perspective, I have copies of a booklet put out in 1943 by the "Food for Victory" Committee of the AMERICAN WOMEN'S VOLUNTARY SERVICES. See here http://davesgarden.com/showthread/124661.html
for more information.
Then, one could always grow "something" at least for the pure pleasure of producing for own consumption - but have you tried to grow e.g. tomatoes so as you will not buy any at all through the summer ?? How much of your time, space, energy, etc would this take ?
We shouldn't throw leftovers, ok. Is the old tv set a leftover? the chair that is not of style anymore, the car etc ?? This is life philosophy, not just turkey leftovers. Perhaps we should not cook so much, either.
In the end, there needs to be defined what is the golden goal for every occasion: how much should we work, eat, make a beautifyl garden, talk, sleep, ... ...
(If you fancy Ancient Greek wisdom, they used to say MIDEN AGAN, which means NOTHING ((should be done in )) EXCESS.
Azalea, It is kinda weird how you mentioned the War Rations Stamps!! My mother just gave me her old ones! She then told me all about how they had to use them in order to get their food. Just like you said, they could get Flour, sugar,cornmeal, beans etc. She came from a big family and so they did have their victory garden also.
I guess all this talk of victory gardens and WW2 Ration Stamps is weird for me since my mother and I had been talkiing about this very same thing!!
My Granmother who was incredibly fond of proverbs would say, 'Everything in moderation!'Indeed, we are wasteful as a species in times of wealth but I think, we are also very resourceful in harder times. The amount of rubbish we create is appalling, I agree. (I eat far too much too).
I admit to growing vegetables for interest and their flowers (I even grow a particular potato variety for the flowers). I like growing tomatoes but I don't like the taste of fresh tomatoes. It is a wasteful way to do things but others eat them so its not such a bad thing.
A victory garden to me is where all the garden is set down to edible plants only and because you have to.
I guess that I've been doing this for several years.My garden veggies are Open Pollinated and I try to grow things with a historical significance.
I see the modern Victory gardens as something to honor our former generation.We most likely will never have rationing again,but we can support our country by donatating to an orginization like 'Plant A Row For The Hungry'. You can take your extra produce to church and give it to elderly members who can't garden anymore.I've donated heirloom tomatoes to a local nursing home and those old folks talk about them for weeks because the taste brings back fond memories.
Maybe the reasons for planting a Victory Garden are different,but growing fresh veggies...or flowers to benefit someone other than yourself gives a great feeling of pride.Take an armload of flowers from your garden to a nursing home and listen to the joy when the folks see hollyhocks or sweet peas for the first time in years.All they usually get are stuffy old carnations out of a cooler.
The real victory in these modern Victory Gardens will not be the vegetables that they produce,but the victory of bringing people closer together by sharing your garden. There are people in the inner cities who have victories every day by turning vacant lots and angry teens into lush ,producing gardens and kids full of pride in their accomplishment.
I feel these are the victories our modern Victory Gardens should show the world.
My dad told me stories about how things were right after the war. He was raised on a tobacco and veggie farm and they grew everything. So a victory garden was kind of a joke with him since they were already doing it out of necessity. He talked about how a city friend tried to grow a victory garden in his front yard but didn't know the difference in the veggie plants and a weed. And how they tried to grow extra to give to those in need, like his friend. As I was growing up in the 50's we had 20 acres of land in veggie gardens, and all the farm animals to go with it. He still called it his victory garden, victory over the bugs, deer, rabbits, hungry neighbors, and weather. If you didn't grow it you didn't eat it. He traded veggies to the country store for sugar, flour, salt and the other few things we couldn't grow. We were very poor and my mom would be the one that picked out the huge bags of flour, animal food, etc. she chose them according to the kind of cloth the bag was made of, then made our clothes from the cloth. She saved the little scraps of cloth and made quilts to keep us warm. They taught me a lot about not being wasteful. I still can not bear to waste anything. If it is usable, it gets used. I think my parents would come back to haunt me if I were that way. I do eat my leftovers, even the scraps that are not good for me go to the dogs and cats.
People today just do not realize how lucky they are,they have everything and take it for granted. They know the store is just down the street and know that it will always be there. I just hope that they are right.
I will have my garden next spring if God is willing, and as every year, like my dear old dad always said, if I get a crop from it, it is another victory!
I am definitely going to plant a victory garden next spring.
I have been veggie gardening for years, but only doing half of what's required. I have been buying seeds, planting, harvesting and eating or canning.
The other half of the challenge and success of a victory garden I think is saving the seeds in case you can't get them again the next year. This got me into thinking about heirlooms etc. I talked with my Mom about Victory Gardens, and she can't remember a whole lot, but she did remember the huge hubbard squash that would feed the whole family and still have leftovers. I still haven't found those seeds for next spring, but I'm looking.
I know it's probably not necessary at this point to be thinking about NEEDING Victory Gardens, but I for one, feel the need to practice so if the need arises, I know what to do. I can then pass the knowledge, (and seeds), on to my offspring so they and their families don't go hungry if it gets to that point in our country. Plus, at this point it's fun to learn now, rather than a desperate situation.
I've been reading up on it, and it's very interesting. I'm hooked.
Thanks to Melody for all your help and also to Kathleen for the Victory Garden booklet.
Mel, I loved your description of what a modern-day Victory Garden can be. Hopefully all those who are needing some background on VG's will get in touch with Kathleen and get a copy of her terrific booklet. A bit of nostalgia rolled in with a lot of good, basic information.
I have found this thread on Victory Gardening very interesting and particularly meaningful on this specific day, December 7. Although it was my parent's generation who were children through the tail end of the Great Depression and World War II, my exposure to the reality of those times was passed on to me.
My Grandparents and parents taught me that we should always live within our means, continually learn, never waste, and be good stewards over that which has been entrusted to us. This was very counter to what messages society taught during the 80s and 90s.
I have always had a need to learn. Not only high tech skills necessary for today, but the ancient, low tech or old timey ways as well. I now am the 4th generation on the family farm where my Grandmother planted her Victory Gardens every year. For me, Victory Gardening is part of this continuing education process. Every year I get better at it and am able to share more - bounty and knowledge - with others.
My Victory Garden is not necessary to a specific war effort, and economically it is not critical to my existence. But it is one way in which I can connect with my agrarian heritage and help to better understand today. I will plant a "Victory Garden" this coming spring.
If you are interested, back in 1999 I created a Web page with general historical information about W.W. II-era Victory Gardening. It is located at: