You may be hearing about them a bit more these days and curious what it means or where this term came from. During World War II food resources were scarce and the government encouraged folks to grow their own food. And people did. 75% of American households had their own Victory Gardens and then preserved the food for the off season or the winter months. It was also a very healthful way of living.
Unfortunately, with the invasion of Ukraine has come sanctions which are impacting the world and putting a strain on resources. The cost of fuel, food crops and a variety of other goods are going up for an indeterminate amount of time. One way to help stave off some of the lack we may see locally is to grow your own food, hence the term Victory Garden making a return.
How does one get started? Although I grew up on a small farm and we had a huge garden that I helped plant/weed, I am not the best person to ask as gardening makes me angry and cranky. I did my fair share of the work but didn’t get the love of gardening from my grandmother like I did her love of canning/preserving. But, I do know who to ask: your local extension office.
Each state has a Land-Grant University System (agricultural university) that provides an office which is an extension of its staff and resources in every county in the state. These offices train their staff and volunteers to specialize in the needs/wants of each county as topography, industry, population and land space varies so much from county-to-county.
I highly suggest contacting your local extension office to get information on starting or maintaining your own “victory” garden. They are an amazing resource available for free to help folks in the community to garden and preserve food safely. I know professional landscapers who take samples from their clients properties to have the extension office test to find the root of the disease. I get my pressure canner gauges tested every year at my local extension office and contact them with all my canning questions. Afterall, they are the professionals who are trained to provide the best care for our local communities.
For more information on the history of Victory Gardens and Extension offices, check out the links below: