Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Victory Gardens Rise Again

Timely history from the Victory Garden Seeds website:

"The world was at war. Resources of all kinds were being diverted to support national war efforts. Countries asked their citizens to help in every way that they could.

People dutifully funded the war by purchasing bonds, they conserved raw materials, they recycled, they rallied behind the troops, they helped their neighbors, they gave their lives, and they planted "Gardens for Victory".

Victory Gardens came in every shape and size. Governments and corporations promoted this call for self-reliance. People in all areas, rural and urban alike, worked the soil to raise food for their families, friends, and neighbors. Victory gardening enabled more supplies to be shipped to our troops around the world.

These concepts are very foreign to us in our post-war, global economy. For years we have been bombarded by marketing messages of consumerism, reliance on others, and have experienced nearly constant economic growth. A whole generation of young people know it no other way. As our population ages, we are losing the experiences and knowledge of the Great Depression and WW II from our society's psyche.

History is cyclical, the strong economy of the 1980s and 1990s has begun to weaken, and there are lessons to be learned from the past. It is always a good time to plant your own "Victory Garden".

It was a different time. The world had experienced many years of economic hardships and now people were being asked to give up more. The propaganda machine was geared up to make sure that everyone on the homefront did their part to aide in the effort. The messages were simple, symbolic, and very patriotic.

Although canned foods were rationed items, there were relatively few food shortages in W.W. II-era America. The call to plant a Victory Garden was answered by nearly 20 million Americans. These gardens produced up to 40% of all that was consumed."


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