Victory Gardens

With the upswing of “green” as fashion statement, trend and business marketing tool, another environmental idea is making a comeback, and a significant emphasis: the “Victory Garden.”

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Not just a garden in which to grow your own veggies, a victory garden is a political idea of yore (that’s right; yore) to promote civic pride in communities; helping decrease the pressures put on farmers during World War II to supply both the troops and regular families. Made to show your active part in the neighborhood and America, a morale booster and being conscientious, victory gardens became a big staple in everyday lives. People so enthused by helping often turned empty, vacant lots into huge communal victory gardens (“commandeered for the war effort!”)

Nowadays the reasoning for making a victory garden is less because the government wants it and more about being aware of the problems with the environment and how we personally can decrease our own footprint. Not only does tending a garden give you a great hobby, of course it adds so much pleasure to life in general. The pride of being able to pick things you have grown yourself and cook them for your family and friends, the learning experiences of nurturing something, the frustrations. 🙂 But also the magical process of photosynthesis too, makes it much better to breathe.

Some easy tips to get you started can be found on my favorite channel PBS’ website here. Some basic things to consider and try:

  • Star small. Maybe start with a small patch of the yard, or even better, a window box of herbs! starting small ensures you don’t get in over your head, and decide if you really like cultivating, or if you would rather trek down to the farmer’s market to pick up your broccoli.
  • Study your backyard at different times of day. there’s no way you will be growing blue-ribbon sunflowers if you plant them in a corner that never sees the light of day. Contrary, if you don’t take into consideration the midday sun, your beautiful shade rock garden could turn to just rock before you can say “moss dust.” Here’s where sketches become great help.
  • Draw a sketch of your backyard. It doesn’t have to be to scale (not yet at least) and make approximate sun positions – make smiling suns, a yellow dot, whatever – at the key times: 10 am, 2 and 5 pm. Also take notice if the walls make any spot a complete black hole where no light can be found. That might have to be used for soemthing other -storage shed area perhaps- than a garden.

With some of these tips and PBS as a guide (really, when is it not?), you will be able to have beautiful pumpkins and kickass strawberries before ’09 is out!

What is your favorite thing to eat fresh out of a garden?
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