World War I and World War II took a toll on the country’s budget and led to an increase in the cost of living. With no end in sight for the war, the government was at a tight spot, trying to find food for the marines overseas while also keeping the cost of food in the country at an affordable level.
The solution? A rallying call to all Americans to grow food in their backyards to supplement the nation’s demands. These backyard gardens came to be known as “victory gardens.”
The concept spread like wildfire as citizens heeded the call. Communities came together and put idle land to use. Vegetables were grown in lands owned by churches, schools, and factories. Individuals heeded the call in their own way, growing vegetables at their front or backyards and even in parks.
The rallying call paid off, and food prices remained affordable during the war, which was critical in maintaining the stability of the country.
A New Call for “Victory Gardens”
The wars may be over, and today, the country is self-sufficient and faces no risk of escalating food prices. However, there is a new challenge to be tackled: expensive healthy and organic foods.
Today, Americans are taking processed food more than ever before. Processed ingredients are not as healthy as their organic counterparts. When food is processed, it is exposed to different chemicals to increase its shelf life. These chemicals deplete the ingredients in the plants, meaning we do not end up with the required nutrients for every serving we eat.
The foods that we buy are taking longer to reach the shelves. Moreover, they are being grown under controlled conditions with pesticides, which means they end up having potentially dangerous minerals in our food. Some pesticides have been linked to the development of chronic diseases like cancer.
Is it time to bring the Victory Gardens back? Absolutely yes!
Grow Your Own Food
A Victory Garden, or whatever name you may wish to call it today, allows you to grow your food at home and enjoy the benefits of a fulfilling outdoors activity. Keeping a vegetable garden is an excellent way of reducing your bill and bringing your family and the community together.
You do not need a large tract of land to start gardening. Even the little 10ft x 10ft backyard or front yard enriched with compost will do.
Here are some reasons why you should start a Victory Garden this year.
1. Reduce your food budget – Starting a Victory Garden is an excellent way of supplementing your food budget. You can drastically reduce your grocery budget when you grow food at home. Moreover, you can determine what foods to grow depending on the quantities you usually need.
2. Get nutritional value – Homegrown fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients since they are under your control. You won’t have to worry about the plants being subjected to harsh pesticides or herbicides. Moreover, you can ensure that the plants grow organically by engaging in good ‘ol farming techniques.
3. Engage in outdoors activity – Farming is a great outdoor activity that will keep you and the whole family busy. The activity is not physically laborious, especially if you have a small parcel of backyard garden. You will love the fresh air and bonding with your children while carrying out the gardening tasks.
4. Reduce carbon footprint – Growing your own vegetables also helps to reduce carbon footprint. With the dangers of the high amount of carbon in the environment, you can play a small part in reducing the footprint by planting your own vegetables.
How to Start Your Victory Garden
Gardening is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, you may already have a flower garden at home. If this is the case, how about converting it to a vegetable garden? If the garden is in the backyard, you can transform it with the vegetables that frequently feature on your menu. Onions, spinach, carrots, and tomatoes would definitely be in the list.
If you do not already have a backyard garden, the first thing to check is whether you have some space that you can use for gardening. If you are a tenant, find out from the landlord whether you are allowed to keep a garden. If you own the land, nothing should stop you from starting to dig a small portion of the backyard to be the garden.
You may have to carry out some tests to know whether the soil is good enough for growing vegetables. Ask for help from an experienced local farmer or get a soil test kit online and carry out the tests on your own.
If the soil is not suitable for growing vegetables, perhaps you can enrich it by adding compost or look into creating a container garden. After this, you should be ready to plant your first vegetables.