Return of the Victory Garden

I grew up watching the local Public Broadcasting that was mostly out of Boston and comprised shows like Victory Garden. It fascinated me, but it wasn't until just recently that I realized just how important the term Victory Garden really was. 

It started with my obsession with the BBC's Wartime Farm. (Actually, I watched Edwardian Farm before that) and from there my obsession with the workings of farms during WWII ended up with my current addiction of BBC's The Land Girls. 

Land Girls was the term given for the women who signed up to help out the farms during wartime and to make up for the men's absence. Sort of a female version of the Conservation Core. They were given room and board and a small stipend in return for what was really a crucial effort to the feed the countries during the war. In America, as in many other countries, women were being called upon to take the place of men in the jobs traditionally only seen as men's work before. They were also expected to help feed a nation that was already being heavily rationed, and they managed it like dynamos! 

Eleanor Roosevelt was a huge proponent of Victory Gardens, and much to the dismay of many she had one put on the White House grounds. During WWII, there were over 18 million Victory Gardens in the US. There is still one in existence in Boston's Back Bay, near Fenway. And each was designed to make the most out of the smallest amount of land and supplies. 

Here's an example of what they suggested could be done with a 25 x 50  plot. This would have been to feed a family, but in the case of community gardens like Boston, you were raising food for everyone. 

When we talk about a self-reliant lifestyle or even homesteading, many of the skills that we practice today are ones that were utilized heavily in those years. Remember, the country had just come out of The Depression, now they were being called on again to use those same survival skills learned there to protect their home and country. 

By the way, if they can grow vegetables in Boston's Back Bay area when that was basically a land fill, then I can certainly grow on my own 3/4 acre lot of land fill. It only takes determination and a whole lot of work to make it grow. 

#wartimegarden #victorygarden #chickenarmy #landgirls #wartimegarden

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