Ever heard of a Victory Garden?
During World War I, the United States government encouraged citizens to contribute to the war effort by planting and cultivating food gardens to feed themselves and their communities.
In this time, with European farmers being recruited to military service and farmland being converted into battlefields, the majority of America’s commercial crops were being exported to aid a starving Europe so Uncle Sam urged Americans to help produce food on any open space available for growing.
Weeks before the United States entered the war, the National War Garden Commission was created by Charles Lathrop Pack to encourage and support Americans to plant, fertilize and harvest their own produce so that more food could be exported to our allies.
Propaganda posters like this one were widespread and amateur gardeners were supplied with instructional pamphlets on how to grow produce including information on planting times, cultivation techniques, pest management, and fertilization methods. 3 million garden plots were planted and an estimated 1.45 million quarts of canned fruits and vegetables were generated within one year as a result of the garden campaign.
By the end of WWI, our food system returned to normal and these “victory gardens”, as they had come to be known, fizzled out a bit, until…. When the Second World War hit, the gardens reemerged with a boom!
Victory Gardens: Small Efforts Make a Tidal Wave Impact
Throughout both world wars, the gardens served in the war effort by boosting morale, expressing patriotism, and safeguarding against food shortages. By 1944, an estimated 20 million victory gardens produced roughly 8 million tons of food-which equated to 40% of ALL the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States.
Incredible. Ever need a little inspiration on how to make an impact towards creating a more sustainable world? It can seem like a daunting effort. Think of the victory gardens and realize that many small efforts come together to make a tidal wave impact. And then, plant a garden.
It’s Time to Get Growing!
Teach Me To Grow was created to help new and beginner gardeners get off and running with a successful food-producing garden. Our comprehensive online gardening courses and consultations give gardeners step-by-step knowledge and support to ensure a successful harvest and a confident foundation on which to grow on.