Have you heard of  the term Victory Garden, also labeled “War Gardens” and “Food Gardens for Defense” during World War I and WWII? These mini yet productive gardens were planted both at private residences and on public land during the wars to reduce the deficit of food.

Due to wartime government rationing, Americans were once urged to plant in every patch of available soil. In 1944 an estimated 20 million Victory Gardens produced about 40 percent of the nation’s fresh vegetables. Impressive, don’t you agree?

We passed these homemade raised planter boxes on a walk.

The victory garden movement asked Americans to grow food in whatever vacant space they could such as backyards, empty lots, rooftops. There are few things more satisfying than self-sufficiency: working a little land, no matter how small, and harvesting your own produce.

Who ever thought Victory Gardens would make a comeback? Today they are flourishing thanks to what I’ve heard called “food anxiety.” Maybe not as serious as the dreaded toilet paper shortage, but we have cases where fear of food shortage and food hoarding occurs. For instance, the news reported there might be a shortage of meat in the future. As soon as such a predicament was mentioned some folks dashed out to stock up on meat, as they had TP and paper towels.

I’m happy to buy organic veggies, but they are never as good as fresh from the garden.

People with no yards planted Victory Gardens in window boxes and planters or turned to community gardening, such as the garden next to our son’s school—a neighborhood project called the Picardo P-patch. The property was originally lent to the neighbors by a farmer Rainie Picardo.

The original P-Patch is still alive and well! A fascinating story.

People canned excess food grown in these victory gardens to be used during the winter. Reminds me of the self-sufficient Amish, who regularly can the bounty from their gardens.

I always think of the Amish when I see canned veggies and fruit. (Taken in Bird-in-Hand, PA.)

Many of you may already be planting a vegetable or fruit garden producing enough to feed your family. My grandmother had such a delightful veggie garden that I included it in my book A Letter from Lancaster County. I would choose to plant organic carrots, radishes, and zucchini if I had a garden going. Makes me wonder what you would plant.

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