The Health & Economic Climate Are Right For a Return to Organic Victory Gardens
During the Second World War, the U.S. government and a private group promoted Victory Gardening, along with canning and freezing as a means of addressing potential food scarcity problems at home and abroad. Also with local community gardens there was less cost of transporting food for long distances which conserved fuel for the war effort. The concept was "one garden at a time" and by taking this approach the U.S.D.A. estimated that over 20 million victory gardens were planted across the U.S.
Another major reason for the Victory Gardens was economically the citizens of the U.S.A. were financially strapped due to the war effort and found themselves in a slumping economy. Not as suprising as we see today in our current economic climate.
Victory gardening isn't merely a concept for fun but was beneficial and a necessity during this time period. Victory gardening is the act of growing the basics and using sustainable organic gardening practices to maximize the production on what were generally small plots of land found in the midst of urban populations. Many old fashion community gardens emerged and, since fertilizers used petroleum, a practice of growing organic gardens emerged during this time.
Today some of the same reasons exist for continuing the practices of home gardening organically, not as economic as the Victory gardens were, but now for sound health benefits to each of us and for good environmental policy for the planet.
Here are some of the benefits of using sustainable, organic gardening methods that originally can be credited to some of the earlier community gardens established during World War II.
* Organic agriculture produces crops that have been proven to be a deterrent to cancers of all sorts.
* Organic gardening reduces exposure to chemicals used to kill insects and other pesticides not only to ourselves but to neighbors, and pets.
* Planting a garden is a great way for kids to learn hands-on conservation, nutrition and environmental stewardship. If done organically it also reduces their exposure to chemicals.
* Gardening is a proven great form of exercise improving overall health.
Data compiled by the US Department of Agriculture reveals that since the 1940s the mineral levels in fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy have declined substantially in commercially produced foods. Think about this; along with earlier (pre-ripened) picking, longer storage and more processing of crops. Is it any wonder that we're getting fewer nutrients in our food than we were 60 or 70 years ago?
Chemical fertilizers used by commercial growers produces lush growth by swelling produce with more water. On a per-weight basis, organic food has more "dry matter" (i.e. real food). Partly because of this organically grown foods contain higher levels of nutrients.
Organically grown foods are found to be much higher in antioxidants - another great benefit to you and your family.
Today the economic times we are in, the concern over maintaining soil viability, the need for better nutrition, the growing demand for homogenized foods found in fast food or convenience packaging leads us to reconsider creating homegrown organic gardens to improve our health, reduce our costs, and become a more family friendly fun exercise benefiting our families, our neighbors and our local environment.
Organic Victory Gardens are in vogue, but let's do it "one garden at a time".