Victory on the Food Front

14 Aug 2013 07.38 am by K. Daniel

With the ever growing popularity of home projects, frugal living and DIY activities, perhaps you may have thought about growing your own foods. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner which you've literally build from scratch. Quality goods that you are familiar with on a personal level.


If knowledge is power, knowing where your food comes from is a natural progression of having better control of what passes through your lips into your happy bellies, ultimately contributing to your overall health.


As profound of an idea that may seem, it is not a new one.


Home and public gardens for smaller scale production have existed for ages, although its popularity have been variable. There was one occasion however where nearly every plot of usable land was used to grow fruits and vegetables.


This was not some sort of activity driven by the realization of the importance of home gardening. Nor was this driven by what was in vogue at the time. It was a time where people grew what they could because of necessity. Planting a garden could have been a matter of life and death. This was war.


Both in World War I and World War II, food was rationed and limited. It didn't help that most of the workforce at the time were drafted to serve in the army, which in turn decreased production.


During 1917, a campaign was devised in America to address the issue of decreasing food stock. It involved using any available plot of land to grow food crops, which in turn could be used to supplement the existing supply. The campaign was also subsequently applied by other countries, throughout Europe and all the way to Australia in the southern hemisphere.


The campaign itself served a secondary purpose. Besides the food produced, it gave the remaining public who were not actively serving the army means to contribute to the war effort. Suddenly the war became close and personal, and victories as well as losses shared equally. More food also meant that prices went down and money was saved, money which could be allocated for other campaigns and activities during the time.


It was a resounding success, and by the end of the second war American local growers were matching the industry in terms of overall production. This meant an estimate of between 9 and 10 million tonnes in total. Similar results were seen throughout the areas which implemented the campaign.


Ironically, by the time the war ended, through 1946 food shortages continued in England for a period of time. It didn't help that with the war over, many residents did not continue with their gardens.


Today, victory gardens exist as memorials or are used for other campaigns. One such garden in the White House has been featured in Michelle Obama's campaign to improve the eating habits of young children throughout the U.S.A.


Other than that, most exist in the form of home gardens and other DIY projects in limited spaces. So what really differentiates a victory garden from your typical home garden? Well other than the association with its history, not much else. What you could find in victory gardens would very much be similar to some home gardens, however there is a stronger emphasis on agriculturally significant crops in victory gardens such as squashes, potatoes, and corn.


So perhaps next time you consider a home gardening project, why not consider a victory garden and achieve victory in the home (budgeting) front?



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