Friday, May 6, 2011

V Is for Victory Garden

During World War II, American citizens were urged to grow their own produce--vegetables, fruits and herbs. The government's reasoning for this was to decrease the demand on the public food supply.

The engagement of so many American men in the war effort decreased both the labor and transportation markets. Not only was it difficult to harvest produce in the fields; it was equally difficult to process and ship produce to national markets. There were rations on food items such as sugar, dairy products, eggs, meat and canned goods.

Americans at home were encouraged to grow a garden, whether living in rural or urban areas. And grow gardens they did; 20 million Americans responded by growing their own food in their victory gardens. Part of the positive response was due to need on the part of the citizens, but many also felt it their patriotic duty to support the war effort at home.

Today, victory gardens have taken on a new meaning. Victory over high food prices, victory over the quality of taste and nutrition, and victory over chemical pesticide and herbicide use on produce. I've planted my garden this year for all of these reasons, but my real victory will be in watching my garden plants grow and harvesting their bounty.

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