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Stem the Tide of the Recession: Grow Your Own Victory Garden!

Updated on March 8, 2011

During the First and Second World War Americans were encouraged to grow gardens called "Victory Gardens." The purpose of these gardens was to free up goods so that troops could be provided with adequate food supplies. During that time 41% of vegetables produced in the U. S. were grown in Victory Gardens.

Now defined in the pressing context of urban sustainability, growing your own fruits and vegetables these days means increased local food security. To grow your own Victory Garden also means reducing the miles traveled by the foods we eat which benefits not only the planet, but your wallet, too. According to some estimates, food prices will double in 2011 thanks to radical weather and the rising cost of fuel. The downward spiraling of the economy also provides incentive to become less dependant on super markets.

The Victory Gardens of the war years not only provided much needed produce but growing gardens was a tremendous moral boost. It provided a way for people on the home front to show their support-- to be actively involved in the war effort rather than idly sitting by. Likewise, the modern Victory Garden can empower people to make positive changes and be active participants in their food supply. It encourages people to eat a better diet. It gives the grower the reassurance of knowing where his or her food comes from and how it has been handled. It keeps food production local, thus reducing the fuel needed to transport goods to our tables. It can also reduce the cost of a meal.

Of course, many of us are familiar with the traditional, labor intensive plow and plant method of gardening.  There are, however, many different options available if you wish to grow your own food. Even people who do not have large yards or who live in apartments may grow fruits and vegetables.

Square Foot Gardening

Square foot gardening is a method developed by a man named Mel Bartholomew. The basic premise of this method is that one can grow more plants in less space if they are planted in squares rather than the traditional rows. I have read this book and Bartholomew's method makes a lot of sense.

Raised Bed Gardening

This is a technique that involves building up a fertile soil in a raised bed for a type of gardening that produces a heavier yeild with less weeding and less work. Patricia Lanza's Lasagna Gardening is a great introduction to this method.

Container Gardening

As the name indicates, this is a method of gardening done in containers. It is great for apartment dwellers and anyone else who may find themselves with out yard space.

There are many reasons to grow a garden, not the least of which is the rising cost of food.  Those who wish to be proactive may be concerned about lack of time and space.  With new gardening methods that allow people to grow in smaller spaces and reduce labor, anyone can grow at least a portion of their own food. 

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    • RoxiM profile image

      RoxiM 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      I've tried the Ruth Stout method, and it worked pretty well. The only real problem I had was with oats sprouting up through the straw mulch, but that was no big deal. My current garden is really too small to need much mulch. I'm using newspapers and grass clippings -- and whatever weeds I pull that haven't gone to seed. It works pretty well.

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR

      BrightMeadow 

      6 years ago from a room of one's own

      I am trying the Ruth Stout method this year. So far it seems to be working well. I'm a long way off from growing all of my own produce, though.

    • RoxiM profile image

      RoxiM 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      Somewhere I have an old Victory Garden guide from the 40s. I think there have been reprints, too, but many of the methods are, as you say, rather outdated. I have minimal space, so I will probably never grow all my own vegetables, but with raised beds and containers, I can grow quite a lot.

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR

      BrightMeadow 

      6 years ago from a room of one's own

      I'm still trying to figure out the gardening thing. I have high hopes for the garden this year. Canning is on my list of things to learn. Thanks for stopping by.

    • jesimpki profile image

      jesimpki 

      6 years ago from Radford, VA

      This is a great hub! This previous summer, I grew my own tomatoes in buckets on my front porch. I had plenty to make fried green tomatoes! My parents have their own garden and grow most of their own vegetables every year, and my mom cans as much as she can. I grew up despising green beans and squash, but lately, I've been rediscovering my roots, if you'll excuse the pun! Voted up!

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR

      BrightMeadow 

      6 years ago from a room of one's own

      Good thing your ready for spring. Wish I was. Thanks for stopping by.

    • homesteadpatch profile image

      homesteadpatch 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      We are ready for spring. It's exciting to see more folks planting gardens. Voted up.

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR

      BrightMeadow 

      7 years ago from a room of one's own

      Bob,

      I'm really excited to get started on my garden this year, especially with food prices expected to rise. Thanks for stopping.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      7 years ago from New Brunswick

      Victory gardens or Freedom gardens are great ideas.

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR

      BrightMeadow 

      7 years ago from a room of one's own

      I'm so glad you liked it:)

    • AnnCee profile image

      AnnCee 

      7 years ago from United States

      Excellent Hub and excellent advise.

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