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How to start your own victory church garden

Updated on January 22, 2014

Why Not Start a Victory Garden?

With our economy in complete disarray and a ton of "frugal living" tips flooding the Internet everyday - more and more people are getting back to the basics - including gardening. One topic that is starting to get alot more attention is the old idea of starting a Victory Garden.

Victory gardens are nothing new. They have been around since World War l and World War ll when the United States government encouraged it's citizens to plant gardens in an effort to support the war effort. Rising to the challenge, millions of citizens planted their own gardens. In 1943 alone there were over 20 million victory gardens in the United States and the harvest from the victory gardens accounted for almost a 1/3 of all the vegetables that were consumed that year. Pretty surprising statistics, huh? Besides being considered a national duty, victory gardens also encouraged community gathering and participation (gee maybe we could learn alot from that idea, huh?)

Maybe returning to the basics is not such a bad idea.... save money, get to know your neighbors, exercise, eat fresh healthy vegetables....not so bad, right?

In World War l and ll Victory Gardens Were All the Rage

Bountiful harvests from a Victory Garden were commonplace in World War l and World War ll
Bountiful harvests from a Victory Garden were commonplace in World War l and World War ll | Source

The Community Church of Hayward Victory Garden

As women's ministry leader for our church, one of the first projects I have tackled is to start a victory garden for our own church. I am fortunate that in the City of Hayward we actually already have a local community garden. Although the garden has been there many many years, the thought had never really occurred to me to actually have a plot at the garden. That changed however when church members were tossing around ideas about projects we could sink our teeth into. One such project that immediately blossomed was the idea of having a community garden plot for our church. A special spot where we could work the land, spend time together, and connect with our local community.

So the official Victory Garden of the Community Church of Hayward was born.

Full of Weeds but Our Victory Garden

This is plot of land at the Hayward Community Garden where the Community Church of Hayward's Victory Garden will be
This is plot of land at the Hayward Community Garden where the Community Church of Hayward's Victory Garden will be | Source

Victory Garden With a Path

I managed to get a path through the Victory Garden which will make it easier to work our way through the garden
I managed to get a path through the Victory Garden which will make it easier to work our way through the garden | Source

The Start of Our Victory Garden

To start our own victory garden the first thing we had to do was secure a plot at the local community garden - and of course enlist members of the church that were interested in participating. Since this is such a new venture, we haven't got far yet as we just got our plot less than 2 weeks ago ( yes I know we have to get cracking at planting)

Because our former plot owner had neglected the plot, there is a harvest of very tall weeds at the present site. Underneath however is some very very fertile ground. In the pictures here you can see how high the weeds are. After the latest rain we had though the weeds were relatively easy to pull out. Instead of whacking them down with a machete I decided to remove the weeds the correct way - with a shovel, so I could also get the roots out (no sense having them grow back, that would defeat the purpose)

So armed with my dads trusty shovel I made a path through the weeds yesterday (hey at least it's a start, right? ) I have now claimed "victory" over some of weeds and at least and have a pathway to walk through.

There is course alot more work to do but at least we have started our Victory Garden. Many of us, including our friends and family, are looking forward to working in the garden and reaping the harvest. As our journey continues I will be posting additional articles about our experiences with the Community Church of Hayward Victory Garden. It's sure to be a fun project and one that you might want to try in your own patch of land!

(Dorsi Diazis a freelance professional writer and an avid gardener)

Uncle Sam Says Victory Gardens are Good!

Even Uncle Sam believes in the power of a Victory Garden!
Even Uncle Sam believes in the power of a Victory Garden! | Source


Submit a Comment

  • Dorsi profile image

    Dorsi Diaz 9 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    Bristol Boy) that's very interesting "Dig for Victory". What a catchy phrase. And yes I agree these gardens should be brought back.

    Tom) Sorry you had to give up your garden. That must be tough.

    Becca) good idea, teenagers come in handy for that sort of thing, don't they?

    Bob) what a great idea!

    Nancy) there is nothing like fresh grown veggies!

    Hot Dorkage) you are!

    Lphigenia) what an interesting story! I love it! moon gardening...

    JamaGee) thanks for the link. Jeriee does wonderful hubs on gardening

    Raven King) I know what you mean about the climate but I'd give it a shot anyway!

  • Raven King profile image

    Raven King 9 years ago from Cabin Fever

    For many years I watched the Victory garden show. I think gardening is a great way to get in touch with nature. This year I will try my best to garden, I am not sure how it will turn out due to rough climate? I will give it a try. :)

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Apartment dwellers with no access to a community garden need not be left out.  There are several ways to grow vegetables in pots on a patio or balcony.  If you have neither, vegetables can be grown inside in flower boxes on a table or counter.

    Jerilee Wei has a great how-to hub for this:

  • profile image

    Iphigenia 9 years ago

    I had an allotment at the end of my garden in Oxfordshire in the UK for years - I was helped in its upkeep by a retired neighbour Jack - universally known as "Vegetable Jack" because of his success with vegetable growing. He really was phenomenal - he had a huge garden which was like a miniature park of hidden borders and wonderful corners and a large allotment in the community park. He planted by the phases of the moon and his conversations were full of foklore relating to the planting of foodstuffs.

    When I moved to France I ended up with just a terrace - and missed growing stuff for myself. Until a friend and her husband told me of a new communal allotment scheme - my name is on the list, I think I'll get one next year.

    My friend is a French woman married to an Americian-Vietnamese called Phat when I told them about Vegetable Jack Phat said that he also planted by the phases of the moon  - he turns out to be a 50-year younger model of Jack when it comes to gardening knowledge, so I have christened him "Vegetable Phat".

  • hot dorkage profile image

    hot dorkage 9 years ago from Oregon, USA

    Just for the record I've had a garden in my back yard for 20 years when it was neither stylish nor trendy.  People laughed and thought it was a waste of time.  Couldn't get buy in from any family members but I soldiered on alone.  Now all of a sudden it's cool.  Oh well.  I feel vindicated.  Just came from a 3 hour stint in my garden with son #2 alongside  :) 

  • profile image

    Nancy's Niche 9 years ago

    I grew up eating homegrown veggies and fruit from my grandfather’s garden. Unfortunately, I live in an apartment now and no room for a garden. I can guarantee you if I had a big yard there would be an enormous garden growing there…

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    starting a small one with local food bank.

  • Becca's Blog profile image

    Rebecca Furtado 9 years ago from A Cornfied in the Midwest

    There are not community gardens where I live. I am planning to do a garden but it has been a few years and I do not have a plot. I am hoping I can hire a teenager with a tiller for that part.

  • Tom Rubenoff profile image

    Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

    My wife and I had a garden in a local park for years. With much soul searching we gave it up this year because we just don't have the time the way our lives are now. We look forward to a time we can do it again. There is nothing quite as delicious as vegetables fresh from one's own garden. It's really magic.

  • BristolBoy profile image

    BristolBoy 9 years ago from Bristol

    This is a very interesting hub. I never imagined that there was a need for such gardens in the US. These were very popular in the UK in the World War II with the famous phrase 'Dig For Victory' as obviously the UK is an island, so any imports are hard to bring in. In addition, for a while, the UK was the only sizeable country at war with Nazi Germany, and so there was the need to grow as much food as possible at home to prevent English supply ships running the U-Boat gauntlet. I agree with your opinion though that this should be something that should be brought back, as growing your own not only saves money but also saves the environment.