A Victory Garden is like a share in an airplane factory. It helps win the War and pays dividends too.
– Claurde R Wickard, Secretary of Agriculture
Today marks 100 years since the start of World War One and the world still remembers the hardship that plagued the world, not just the soldiers at war, but the people at home as well. Food was in short supply, but families would still send care packages to their loved ones fighting overseas. Rationing was introduced by the newly formed Ministry of Food, but wasn’t hugely successful as the food prices rose by over 100% and the coupons didn’t cover everything needed.
World War One Gardens
Although commonly associated with World War II, ‘Victory Gardens’ were a huge part of World War I to. Otherwise known as ‘food gardens for the defense’, these gardens were planted on public land and in private residences to reduce the pressure on the food supply during WWI and WWII. Whilst obviously an invaluable necessity during the war, this also helped boost the morale of people that could not enlist, as they could feel empowered by contributing in a fashion to the efforts of the nation.
Everyone helped during the war. While the soldiers were away; women and children were supporting them by growing vegetables. Children would help dig and weed vegetable patches, working in the fields at harvest time. Approximately 20 million Americans grew their own Victory Gardens during the war. Thus producing 40% of the vegetables consumed in the USA at that time.
Original Victory Garden
Posters and images were everywhere, along with videos on how to grow vegetables in your garden. Whatever the size. Video guides such as The Original Victory Garden were made available to anyone who needed them. We watched this to see if there was anything that still stands today. We found that much of it is still relevant to the garden’s we grow today.
After the war ended, many people went back to buying their vegetables at the store, and relying on someone else to grow them. In the 100 years since the war ended, prices for food and fuel have risen dramatically. People can no longer afford to buy fresh produce so are again relying on growing their own vegetables at home. Although the primary buying of seeds may cost a little bit more than a basket of produce, you will save money throughout summer as you harvest tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, sweetcorn and melon amongst others.