During World War II, when the government imposed food rationing, there was a threat of true food scarcity in this country.
The government urged people to plant gardens to help supplement the food supply. In the spirit of the times, the cheery term “Victory Garden” implied that the food our parents and grandparents grew was going to win the war. The federal government estimated that as many as 20,000,000 people planted and tended victory gardens, from small plots in their yard, to school lots, to small planters on tenement sills. Millions grew something, and in the process, fed themselves. As much as 40% of the produce consumed during the war came from this small food movement.
Imagine if we had that focus today. What if as a community we emphasized growing something to nourish us? What if we took a small section of our yard, and set it aside for tomatoes, or cucumbers, or herbs? What if we took the time to plant a seed, or a seedling, nurture it, watch it grow, and then watch it feed our family? What impact would that have on our community, to create a true sense of appreciation for what we can do when we work in harmony with our environment? How would it change the health of our community?
In my own home, I see the impact of a small garden on my children. My oldest helped me last year with a small plot of tomatoes. While she has always had a willingness to try new foods, she was particularly excited about the tomatoes she grew. Nearly every day, she would go with me into the garden to inspect each plant, to talk to the tomatoes (which is pretty important to a 4 year old, apparently), and to plan which ones to pick. She appreciated the great, fresh flavor of what we grew, but she also appreciated the time and effort it took, also. Even at 4 years old, she had taken a step toward mindfulness. In my world of fatherhood, my garden had become a Victory Garden, too.
We now have an Urban Farm at HCFM, and we can use it for more than just farming (although that is very important, too). If you want to start a small garden, let us help you. We have designed some very cool planters that can fit on a porch, or we can set you up with seedlings for a full-blown raised bed or in-ground garden. If you want to take the leap from gardening into farming, we sure can help you there, too. We want you to share in that great feeling of victory you get when you can feed yourself.