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Forefront Friday – Victory Gardens
It is that time of year again – Memorial Day – where we remember our veterans who fought and died for our freedom. It is also the time to plant our gardens. This year after a long hiatus I am planting a garden.
A backyard garden can feed a whole family. We don’t have to be dependent on international agribusiness or grain from Russia or Ukraine, food imports from China or depend on high priced organics to fee ourselves.
So where did this tradition start? During WWI food production in Europe fell.
- Farm workers left for military duty
- Farms were destroyed by war
- Transport was difficult by boat
Wealthy philanthropist Charles Pack concerned that food supply could be greatly enhanced by citizens planting small gardens.
The program in the US resulted in over 5 million gardens started at a value of produce of $1.2 billion. By the end of WWI more food was being produced in home gardens than by farmers prior to WWI. The idea of a war garden expanded in WWII. There were rations of milk, butter, cheese, eggs and meat. The Government encouraged Victory Gardens and renamed it Food Gardens for Defense.
I am going to enjoy producing my victory garden, a lot more pleasure in being a producer than a consumer. Producing food in WWII at the time of shortages allowed so many to envision a better future which eventually did arrive. So, on Memorial Day let’s remember veterans but also our parents and grandparents who started this great tradition of victory gardens. In America it is easy to stand so tall but it is even easier to forget we are standing on the shoulders of the giants before us.