"Food For Freedom"
Victory garden handbooks and advice manuals were distributed to the
public by local governments informing and advising the home front
population on how to grow a proper victory garden. The information
included in theses handbooks encompassed everything from the best type
of soil to plant in, to combating bugs and fungus that might attack the
plants. This was considered "good" propaganda. During these
unsettled times of climate change, loss of honeybee and other
pollinators from our landscapes, and the effects of the global
coronavirus pandemic on our food chains, I think returning to it might
be a great idea. Grow and preserve as much food as we can. It's a good
idea to practice sustainable gardening even without a global crisis like
wars, pandemics and famine. Some of the most popular veggies grown in
the Victory Garden included beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, kale,
kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, tomatoes, turnips, squash and Swiss chard.
"Beans Are Bullets",
"Potatoes Are Powder"... there were many propaganda phrases
used to get us going and hoeing.
Victory gardens, also called war
gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb
gardens planted at private residences and public parks during World War
I and World War II. In wartime, governments encouraged people to plant
victory gardens not only to supplement their rations but also to boost
morale. They were used along with Rationing Stamps and Cards to reduce
pressure on the public food supply. Besides indirectly aiding the war
effort, these gardens were also considered a civil "morale
booster" in that gardeners could feel empowered by their
contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made
victory gardens a part of daily life on the home front. There were
Victory Garden and Rationing movements in several countries.
The Women's Land Army was a civilian organization the
operated during the First and Second World Wars. Women were called upon
to work in agriculture replacing the men drafted into the military. The
WLA operated from 1917 to 1921, employing both urban and rural women.
Colleges and universities formed WLA units. The WLA program was
supported by Progressives like Theodore Roosevelt. Other groups working
with WLA were The Woman's National Farm and Garden Association, the
State Council of Defense, the Garden Club of America, and the YMCA.
During World War II, WLA was a part of the United
States Crop Corps, alongside the Victory Farm Volunteers for teenage
boys and girls, and lasted from 1943 to 1947.
The farmer also deserves a lot of
credit for the sacrifices he was also asked to make.
World War I, the newly created U.S. Food Administration urged Americans to
conserve food so that more could be exported to Europe. Fourteen million
Americans signed “pledge cards,” agreeing to observe wheatless
Mondays, meatless Tuesdays and porkless Saturdays.
During World War II, Americans were limited to locally grown produce
because trains and trucks had to be used to transport soldiers, vehicles,
Victory Gardens were planted by families to help prevent a food
Victory Gardens helped make sure that there was enough food for US
soldiers fighting around the world.
Our food was rationed using a coupon system called a Ration Book.
Victory gardeners canned and otherwise preserved their vegetables for
their families, which took the pressure off the rations of food in the US.
Children were also put into service to accomplish these goals.
The U.S. government sponsored the U.S School Garden Army and the
National War Garden Commission.
the fact that in this age of politicizing everything, including our
well-being, we have to actually fight, sue and legislate or defend
ourselves in courts, to be permitted to grow our own food in some cities.
Horror of all horrors..... using your tastefully landscaped front yard to
grow little beds of berries and food, conserving water by using rain
barrels inconspicuously on our own properties, and as payers of taxes, we
still have to fight to allow the children to grow gardens in schools, ask
that they be provided with a healthy school lunch, and provide good
food during the school day to so many children who go hungry at home. I
find it pitiful, ignorant, and morally wrong.
think about the new age of enlightenment concerning "new"
gardening methods and sustainability movements, that used to be called
organic, water-wise, sustainable food gardening, preservation, hobby
farms, homesteading, school and community gardens, it looks to me that a
lot of what what was old is new again. Thankfully.
WWII, what I call "guerilla gardening" was patriotic. Now it's
sometimes derided, and considered a New Agey Thing that old hippies do.
I've even heard the preposterous and ignorant notion that growing our food
kills farm and supermarket jobs, or that people grow vegetable gardens
because they're too poor or too cheap to buy food. Seriously. And, of
course, these differing opinions differ across particular regions and
cultures in the U.S. It's worth noting, however, that such idiotic
derision appears to be non-existent when i arrive on someone's doorstep
bearing fresh berries, fresh and dried herbs, preserved jams and sauces,
or share meals with others that I created in winter with the ingredients
from my summer harvests. No, ma'am. I never hear anything but a yum! and a
very grateful thank you.
like the ladies during war food rationing did... "Grow Your Own,
Can (preserve) Your Own".
Then share it.
©2020 Mary Hyland for Mary's
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