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Victory Garden

Lakeland, FL(Zone 9b)

Ive been trying to get People Intrested in Victory Gardens Like My Folks had During WW2

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

Tell us more, please. I've heard of them, but could use a refresher...

Lakeland, FL(Zone 9b)

During World war 2 there was a lot of Shortages so some one or the goverment came up with the idea for every one to grow a small garden any where you could on your front lawn back yard the roof where ever you could people started calling theam victory gardens

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I remember reading about those. You saved everything and grew whatever you possibly could at home. Everything got used and almost nothing was wasted. They even recycled metals to help with the war effort because they were also short on those. They reused the extras on planes and other machines.

Lakeland, FL(Zone 9b)

yup cauces prior to world war 2 the Japanese bought up all our scrap metals coper wireing tubeing and what not to buld the zero fighters that came to pearl harbor

Greensboro, AL

There was so much publicity about being patriotic and giving any materials that could be used to the war effort, that I gave my rubber dolly to the man who was collecting scrap for the war. I sure hope they put her to good use!

We lived in the country and always grow most of what we ate, except what we got from welfare. Rather have onion sandwiches on homemade bread out of the garden.

What is the difference between a victory garden and a regular garden?

This message was edited Mar 18, 2007 7:26 PM

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

Hmmm... I'm not sure what to make of a modern day victory garden.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Wrigtie, look at it this way. Instead of lots of flowers you would have lots of veggies and fruit.

Lakeland, FL(Zone 9b)

well Victory Gardens was even grown in the citys to vacant lots was used peoples front yards or stoops

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

Maybe we could make them Victory Over Global Warming gardens. The closer food is grown to where it is consumed, the less energy is used to transport the food. Food producing doesn't have to take place in orderly rows - it can look like designed landscape and still produce food for people and critters.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

yep. Even in KC they are turning vacant lots into gardens. They feed whole neighborhoods this way. And they are doing it in crime ridden areas to help turn it around. Some are suceeding and some have a ways to go.

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

LOL... I do grow fruit and veg' in my garden now. I am all for urban gardening, organic growing, small locally-grown farmer's markets, etc. but I guess Gloria asked it best, "What is the difference between a victory garden and a regular garden?"

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

When I started building raised beds in the front yard last year, the wife wanted to know what I was doing, I told her I was building her a victory garden, This evening she wanted to know what I was going to plant this year. It is all good.

Metro DC, MD(Zone 7a)

I have brussels sprouts, russian red kale, and purple cabbbage currently growing in my relatively formal front beds.

Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

When the government made a booklet of my hometown's life and war effort to send overseas to our allies, [Small Town USA], one picture that stands out in my mind was a picture of a family planting a large garden.

My sister had a penpal in Australia and she wrote that, "Hey, I saw your picture in the booklet!"

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

I recommed the PBS program 1940's House. I saw a portion of it on our PBS station and then rented the DVDs from Netflix to watch the whole show. Although this takes place in the UK, the importance of the garden to feed the family and ever increasing severity of food rationing in well illustrated in this program. It was an eye opener for many of my colleagues when they saw it. This film really brings home the need for a local food supply.

http://www.amazon.com/1940s-House-Marguerite-Patten/dp/B0000AYL47

Our modern day victory gardens can be a way to get nourishing food back on our tables.
http://www.consumerhealth.org/articles/display.cfm?ID=19990303122846
http://www.amazon.com/Nourishment-Home-Grown-F-Beddoe/dp/1885653204

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

I actually have a Vistory Garden booklet published by the US Govt - somewhere . . .

Ida, MI

Victory gardens were an concept, a mindset, not any particular kind of garden. The idea was that any effort, no matter how small made a difference in winning the war and that by growing as much of their own food as they could the gardeners were contributing to the war effort. The idea that every little bit mattered. The concept is still valid today, perhaps moreso.

In the 40s the idea was to free up food for the troops, but the concept applies today by being victorious over reliance on someone else for every bite of food we put into our mouths. Taking control of our own lives even in a small way. Providing ourselves with healthyer food and security against being controlled by agribusiness. It has another advantage in the fight that was not an issue in the 40s, knowledge! In the 40's virtually every family had a member that still had knowledge of how to grow their own food, not so today. Many people today have absolutely no knowledge of how their food gets to the supermarket.

There are children today that do not know that milk comes from a cow, don't even know what a chicken looks like. I have witnessed this myself. My kids have had city friends to the house and when they see our chickens have had questions like, "is that big one the momma?" or "arent chickens supposed to have four leggs?" And folks this was from teenagers. How are these kids ever going to be able to grow a tomato or anything else to feed themselves? Our socioty has become so far removed from its food supply that should the supermarket shelves ever become bare they will starve. Knowledge is the key to freedom! Freedom to supply yourself with HEALTHY food and SAVE MONEY.

So yes I think the concept of victory gardens is as valid today as it was during WWII, if not moreso. Empower yourselves and your children but learning and teaching the art of growing food, every little bit counts!

Greensboro, AL

Recently I submitted a plan to our city council/planning commission for teaching children how to grow a food garden. The plan was that one function of my part time nursery would be to have an apprenticeship program. In this program, beginning in the fall, one student would take a 4 ft x 4 ft area, build soil by making a lasagne bed, test the soil and make necessary amendments, and in the spring plant one crop in the 4 x 4 area. Then on a designated day, the student would "present" his garden to the public and explain how he grew what ever it was he chose to grow. This very limited procedure would encompass all the kids would need to know, to start a market garden for example, or grow crops to supply local restaurants. I hoped this would produce a high school co=op where kids could, if they chose, build a plant based business locally instead of leaving as they now do since there is no work here. (brain drain).

This plan was rejected by the local planning commission.

Ida, MI

Gloria, why am I not suprised!? Have you tried taking your idea to a local science teacher? I know a nearby high school here has a similar program, they even have a nice greenhouse and sell plants they grow in the spring to raise funds. Of course this is only one High school that I know of, unfortunately not the one my kids attended and from what I have heard it is all the work of one teacher. And has been very succesful. Unfortunatly as far as I know it is focused on ornamental plants, but hey at least the kids are learning to grow something! You may be able to find an ally in a teacher that would help you get a program going. Of course you would get no funding, (probably the reason you were turned down by the planning commision?) and you would have to seek donations but nothing is impossible. Kudos to you and good luck!

Greensboro, AL

Spot: Can't see that it would really cost much. But funding is readily available for small businesses in west Alabama because it is a poverty area. I presented the idea to the Superintendent of Schools, and to the high school counselor. Some one had told me the schools here had a 'work for credit' program. The people I talked to were very supportive, but they did not have a work for credit program, which would have been a nice "hook" to get the kids interested.

The program was turned down because the permit for my nursery was turned down. It was purely political. Some people here don't like me--I heard because I do not have a Southern accent. In fact I was fired from a job that I invested 20 years of my life to, because the local town bully thought a southerner should have the job. Any how, political garbage. Most of the city officials are now in jail and we have a new mayor who is very supportive. The town bully is still on the rampage. There are all kinds of obstacles to work around. It is wearing on the old psyche, though.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

One part of me thinks we should have a new name for what were called Victory Gardens. The other part of me is old enough to remember them so some nostalgia is involved.

I call my own veggie garden my "Survival Garden". It lets me eat healthy REAL foods without all the chemicals, so I can survive and so can the land. And, as I am new at this, it could end up being called the "skinny garden" if I fail at producing much food, LOL.

Gloria, don't give up on a good idea!

Ida, MI

Oh boy Gloria, I'm sad to hear that. Unfortunately the political mess you describe is not limited to small towns in the south. I worked for a city near here in the department of public services. I was refused even the 90 day probation period specified by union contract on a better job I bid on within the department, why? Because I was A woman, and outspoken about the corruption within the department. I ended up going to the feds who forced them to give me the job, but they simply changed the job duties, starting times, isolated me from everyone and generaly made my life so miserable I quit the city entirely. I could have gone back to the feds but if you have ever dealt with the EEOC they really arent employee friendly, you basicly have to prove your own case and my original complaint took about 18 months to resolve. Another 18 months of what I was going through and I would have been in a psychiatric hospital, I came darn close as it was so I know exactly what you are going through, I'll be praying for you.

Greensboro, AL

After leaving the 20 year job, I got another job. Shortly after I learned that my job trainer had an interview with said "town bully" I was fired again. (I have a couple of graduate degrees, absolutely not a person who should be getting fired all the time. I am a quiet person. Not a smart A--. Or anything like that.). The out of town supervisor said I was "too old" to do the work. Filed with EEOC after 10 months wherein they said they were settling with the company, I received a notice that I could not prove my case, (it was unprovable since there were no witnesses) and they were dropping the case. So much for EEOC. It sure does need a Ralph Nader type clean-up.

On the other hand, you cannot accomplish anything if you have not done the "networking" and foundation work that you need to do i.e. "marketing". Got to sell yourself and your idea. But, when the town is run by bullys who hate women, hat yankees, and love to pick on "old" women, it does get discouraging. Don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but this kind of obstacle is a fact of life in many places.

Lakeland, FL(Zone 9b)

Any one Renber Crocckets Victory Garden? I Knew Jim he was a Nice guy am from mass the show was filmed in Boston

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Gloria, it's a very prevalent fact of life in much of the South. If you are not in the Good Ole Boy Network (i.e. related), then forget progress.

I was born, and mostly raised, in the south. And I'm a stubborn, outspoken and determined woman which has always caused problems, mostly in employment.

Paul, I remember his show.

Lakeland, FL(Zone 9b)

ya jim passed a away quite a few years ago cancer i still have his books to lots of good info

Greensboro, AL

http://www.amazon.com/Crocketts-Victory-Garden-Underwood-Crockett/dp/0316161209

There is also a recent, book, Victory Garden Cookbook.

Ida, MI

The good ole boy network doesn't just exist in the south, its alive and well up here in yankeeland too. My experience happened right here in Michigan and I just could not believe how difficult the EEOC was to deal with. I always thought that they were supposed to be a watchdog for the people but I found out differently. My situation ended up sending me to a psychiatrist who said, "doesn't the fact that you won your case mean anything to you? Do you realize how many people I see in your position who don't win? It is very unusual to win a case with the EEOC." I told her that yes it did mean something to me but I still did not get the job I applied for and was by contract mine and there was no way I could survive another 18month fight. Even though they kept changing the job duties to make it harder I still did every single one with flying colors. The last thing they had be do was dig a trench in an area with concrete fill under the topsoil by hand, by myself, even though we had backhoes for this kind of thing. Even the men I worked with were incensed at what they did to me. I had a reputation of doing my job and doing it well and they respected me, it was the management that was the problem. So don't think this is a problem only in the south and that the north is somhow more enlightened, it aint so.

Greensboro, AL

I was given essentially a high school bibliography assignment and told to turn the work in on computer disc. Then the supervisor (a person assigned just to me, no other jobs like this in the organization--totally manufactured as a form of harassment) seized the disc and had the computer technician destroy it. If I spoke to anyone they were required to file a report saying I was bothering them (people who had been under my supervision). Isolation. Harassment. All carefully orchestrated to be "legal". I was even told I would be transferred even though I own my home where I live, and had lived in that county since 1974). When looked at the housing (which was to cost me $400/ month) it was flooded with raw sewage. Yeah. I wound up at the psychiatrists, also. Sense enough to go to save my sanity.

Spot. You and I deserve a VICTORY garden. It is a victory to be still alive, even though I still have serious health issues, and Flash Backs from the ordeal. A survivor's garden.

Ida, MI

Yes a victory garden can mean lots of things to a lot different people, its a wonderfull concept! In order not to hijack thread, I'm sending a D-mail Gloria.

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

We loved the Victory Garden series when Jim Crockett was hosting it. So sad that he passed away after four years when the show became really popular. We didn't find his successors on the program as appealing.

spot, I know just what you are facing with the food production disconnect apparent in today's society.
I've been assisting at one of the last surviving farms in our area. We do environmental and farm education for local school children. The groups are accompanied by a teacher and a parent volunteer. Many of the teachers and parents are equally ignorant about where milk,eggs, meat and vegetables come from.
Many adults do not know that a dairy animal must first be bred and give birth before she will produce milk.
The ewes lambed a couple of weeks ago. We had a class tour the day after the birth. The ewes still had some blood on their backsides (they had lambed a few hours prior). I had to explain the birth process to the entire group, adults included, so that they would understand why the blood was there.

It's easy to tell which kids spend a lot of time playing violent video games. They move through the world continually wanting to smash, thrash and crash while making video game noises!

Gloria, don't give up on your garden education concept. I agree about connecting with the science teachers. The organization I volunteer at sends a staff naturalist to the classroom a week before the farm & wilderness tour. They do a two hour presentation using slide show, music, role-plays, and hands-on teaching stations. This preps them for the tour and gives the teachers a chance to integrate their science curriculum or review the concepts. The kids really get engaged taking any lunch leftovers to the compost pile, taking some finished compost to their favourite garden plant and thanking the plant for feeding them.
Of course, the worm dance is pretty popular with the 8-10 year old crowd. At the end of the dance they pretend to be worms pooping out new soil (bathroom humour rampant at this age).

A 4x4 foot garden space can provide a lot of subject material for a school science program - soil microbes, water usage & erosion concepts, seed sprouting, composting etc.

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

Oh my! have we been hijacked! I thought everything was connected.

Ida, MI

My daughter really embarassed my parents years ago. They took my kids to a little farm type setup in a local city park. My kids grew up with chicks, ducklings, goslings and even baby goats occasionaly residing in our kitchen so they know their farm animals. Well there were a bunch of kids at the little farm exhibit talking about how cool the big duck was and my daughter indignantly declared, "thats not a duck, IT's A GOOSE!" She thought those kids were incredibly stupid for not knowing the difference between a duck and a goose, we had to have a talk with her. LOL

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

Children often confuse goats and sheep too.

Lakeland, FL(Zone 9b)

They dont taste the same tho

Missouri City, TX

Not to mention Carrots and pigweed. Budding gardeners often pull the carrots thinking they are removing an offensive weed.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

That's a real shame, Gloria. But that mentality does indeed exist in many places, included in enlightened New York. I am shocked at the 'network' that exists in the Suburbs. Same names over and over in all the positions of influence.

San Jose, CA(Zone 9b)

I've read where Cubans have turned to French biointensive (dense co-plantings, deep composting, etc.) gardening methods and have had to have gardens any- and everywhere they could put them through decades of trade embargos.

I love the idea of a Survival Garden - the one time I ran into car trouble on the road, I landed (safely) in a clump of fennel, and eat it in celebration every year around that time. My partner is a 21 year survivor of breast cancer, and one year on the anniversary we bought a dwarf moro blood orange tree, that bore fruit for the first time this past season. We made a favorite salad of thinly-sliced fennel and blood orange slices along with some walnuts and a light vinaigrette, and re-named it Survivor Salad.

Gloria - don't wait for the city/county to say "okay" -- just begin, informally, and see what happens. It's too good an idea to let fall away.

As to making a victory garden / community garden, there's certainly incentive and reason to grow extra, and ways to get it where it's most needed: http://www.secondharvest.org/



Dublin, TX(Zone 8a)

What a great thread, Paul. My grandmother had the most beautiful victory garden, and it meant the world to her. She felt like in her own way, she was contributing. What little it helps, I too am attempting to help small children understand "where" their food comes from. The local school district had their arms wide open to me when I went to them with the concept of a "KinderGarden". I have a 20 x 20 garden at the kindergarten wing that I teach the children how to plant and grow veggies from seed. They learn how to care for them, learn what cool bugs attack certain things, when to harvest, etc. It is amazing to watch them soak up information like little sponges. Makes me smile thinking about it. I was shocked the first year I set everything up to learn that the majority of children had NO idea that their carrot came from the ground originally or that their so loved cucumber grew on a vine in the ground. Kids need to know this basic information, and I was afraid that in todays world of techno-savy everything it would be lost............sure enough, it was.
Belinda

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