I remember not too long ago, during the crazy times of 2020, being shocked as I walked pass multiple empty grocery store shelves.
The last few years’ trips to the grocery store have been unpredictable; you never know what state you will find the aisles in or what products will be missing. These circumstances naturally have people questioning our current modern food system, where they are depending on others to provide them with what they need.
The empty store shelves are causing a sense of fear and leaving people wondering how they can become self-sufficient and do more for themselves.
The good news is there are ways you can do more for your home. You CAN do things to become less dependent on a modern food system that isn’t providing you with what you need. You can feel comfortable with your food security and have that peace of mind.
A Modern Victory Garden may be the answer you have been searching for and I will tell you all the reasons why you should plant a Victory Garden in the info below.
Love to listen to podcasts? I talk about Victory Gardens in this podcast episode:
What Exactly is a Victory Garden?
This isn’t the first time in history that folks have been concerned about their food security. During World War II, the answer to the food shortage was Victory Gardens (or War Gardens). The government asked that the American people grow victory gardens to supplement vegetables, fruits, and herbs for their families and their communities.
The idea was that victory gardens would provide vegetables to the “Home Front” so that non-perishable canned goods could be sent to the soldiers fighting overseas. According to the National Museum of History, 40 percent of the nation’s vegetables were produced by these Victory Gardens during the war.
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about bringing Victory Gardens back and I totally pumped about this idea. Just think about the amount of produce that could be grown if everyone took the time to plant a few seeds in their gardens or yards.
Where to Plant Your Victory Garden
It has always been my belief that you can homestead wherever you are. Victory gardens are proof that it is possible. During World War II, victory gardens were planted in whatever free space people had available.
You could find Victory Gardens:
- On Rooftops
- In Window Boxes
- In Backyards
- On Fire Escapes
- In Community Parks
These are just a few of the common areas people grew their vegetable gardens in the past. Imagine if people used extra space and modern methods: we could probably produce even more food today than they did in World War II.
More Modern Ways Include:
- Recycled Container Garden
- Raised Garden Beds (Listen to How We Built Ours)
- Modern Greenhouses
The list is limitless when it comes to where a victory garden could be planted, you just need to get creative with your methods and extra space. There are vegetables you can plant even if your yard is mainly in the shade. And even if you live in an HOA/strict community, there are still vegetables you can plant that are pretty and edible.
Reasons to Plant a Victory Garden
Today’s victory gardens wouldn’t be used to help balance out rations in an effort to supply soldiers overseas. Instead, they would be used to help everyone here on the home front. These modern victory gardens would help your family, neighbors, and community.
This growing season, you should consider a Victory Garden and I would love to share the reasons why I believe you should.
Reason #1: Plant a Victory Garden for Homegrown Produce
The main reason to grow a garden is to get fresh produce but having a garden in your backyard allows you to have complete control over how it is grown. You will know what is being used to grow your garden and how much you are spending by producing your own produce. Plus, homegrown produce tastes SO MUCH better than the stuff from the store, so you’ll love the taste of your garden vegetables more, too.
Providing homegrown produce for your family is the obvious reason people should consider growing a victory garden. It isn’t the only reason though, growing a garden has so many different benefits that go beyond its veggies.
Reason #2: Plant a Victory Garden for Food Security and Peace of Mind
Growing a Victory Garden will allow you to take control of your food security and reduce the stress brought on by not knowing where you can get the things you will need. Growing your own produce also allows you to store extras for a later date creating food security even after your garden is gone.
Storing your own food can be a bit intimidating if you don’t know where to start. If you are interested in learning more about how to store your extra produce, take a look at these posts.
Start Storing Your Produce:
- How to Store a Years’ Worth of Food for Your Family (Without Waste and Overwhelm)
- How to Can with a Water Bath Canner
- How to Use a Fermenting Crock
- How to Make Dehydrated Vegetable Powders
Reason #3: Physical Activity
A garden doesn’t grow on its own, and it is up to you to put in the work to start your garden and keep it thriving. Depending on the type of garden you choose to use, there is going to be some physical activity.
I exercise, walk on a treadmill, and try to stay physically active, but there is nothing better than doing something practical AND exercising at the same time. I love that I can break a sweat getting garden beds ready in the spring. So plant a Victory Garden to get a workout in while you are working on producing food for your family. That’s a win-win.
Reason #4: Vitamin D
Taking care of your garden provides more than just physical labor: being outdoors also exposes you to sunlight. When sunlight touches a person’s skin it is helping the body create Vitamin D. Gardens need sunlight to grow, and the vitamin D that sunlight provides is great for people, too.
Why is this important? Vitamin D is known for playing a huge role in people’s health. It can reduce stress, help you sleep better, and provide other health benefits described in this article about 7 Health Benefits of Sunlight.
Reason #5: Community and Helping Others
During World War II, Victory Gardens were grown everywhere and were for everyone. They brought people together in unknown times and helped to create communities where everyone helped one another. Our modern victory gardens can help do the same today.
Ways Your Victory Garden Can Help:
- If you are able to grow enough produce with extra to spare, you can share it with others that are not able to grow a garden.
- You could organize a community garden where everyone can pitch in and benefit from all these reasons a Victory Garden is a good thing.
- Become a part of an online group where people can find information, advice, and support about growing gardens.
If you are new or unsure how to join your community, you might find some useful tips by reading How to Cultivate Community While Homesteading.
Reason #6: Soil is a Mood Booster
Studies have shown that there is a good bacterium in the soil itself that can help battle mild depression. Who knew? Playing in the dirt can actually be beneficial. Eating raw unwashed vegetables from your own garden is more than just the nutrients they provide.
If you are interested in learning more about the ways soil can boost your mood, look at this article Is Dirt the New Prozac?. It truly fascinated me and gave me one more reason to love gardening.
What Vegetables to Plant in Your Victory Garden?
Historically, vegetables that were planted in victory gardens needed to be easy for anyone to grow, as well as provide adequate nutrition and also store well. There are many different options for victory gardens today, but traditionally, certain heirloom vegetables were chosen.
Traditional Heirloom Vegetables in a Victory Garden:
- Swiss Chard
Your victory garden can include these traditional vegetables or you can take a look at the many different heirloom seeds available today. My favorite place to get seeds is True Leaf Market, they have a great selection of heirloom seeds. Browsing their online seed racks is easy, you will find all that you need and more.
Are You Ready to Plant Your Victory Garden?
If you have been looking for ways to be more self-sufficient, to provide additional food security, and to do more for your community and family, then a victory garden could be right for you. Victory Gardens have been grown in all different places and successfully brought neighbors and communities together.
It is time to take control of your food security and give yourself that peace of mind. Even planting just a few vegetables in containers can make a small difference in changing our dependence on a modern and very vulnerable food system.