Over a century ago, the idea of growing a victory garden emerged. People were fearful that they would not have enough fresh food to sustain themselves, so they took matters into their own hands. World War I had spurred the initial surge of families to begin planting their own fruits, herbs, and vegetables that would supplement the shortage of a decreased food supply. Today, we are faced with new challenges and different circumstances. However, it may be time for an evolution of the victory garden to make a comeback.
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.Gertrude Jekyll
Before you get started, ask yourself what the main purpose of this garden is that you would like to fulfill. Do you plan to feed a large family or only a few people? Once you have created an outline, you can more clearly fill in the steps required to accomplish the end result. I recommend starting small to avoid taking on a massive project that is beyond your capabilities.
What if you are concerned about sacrificing yard space? Sure a nicely manicured lawn might look nice — but consider the practicality. Does it really benefit you beyond aesthetic purposes? Make the most out of your space by growing a garden that will nourish you instead. If you have children or grandchildren, get them involved, and create a learning opportunity. Kids love any chance to learn something new while getting their hands messy. It will help them to develop an understanding and appreciation for growing their own food.
Take into consideration the space you have available to grow a victory garden. Depending on your living situation, you might have enough land to sustain a large outdoor garden with potential for several raised beds. Perhaps you only have a small patio area with some space available for potted plants or even a vertical garden. Do not worry if outdoor growing space is not an option — you can always set up an indoor garden using a hydroponic system with LED lights.
Another key factor to consider before planting your own victory garden is climate. Certain plants will grow better in different geographical locations and regions. For example, plants and trees such as avocado, citrus, mango, papaya, and pineapple all grow well in my backyard due to the warm climate with frequent rainfall. It may not be realistic to have tropical fruit trees growing outside if you live in the upper northern hemisphere (especially during winter) without greenhouse conditions. Soil pH can also have a major impact, as it ranges from acidic to alkaline. Pay attention to specific requirements for the plants you intend to grow in your victory garden so they can thrive.
If a large outdoor garden is too much to maintain, I highly recommend investing in an AeroGarden. I have been using mine since the beginning of the year, and I am beyond ecstatic with the results. Trust me, a green thumb is not required to be successful. Upkeep is minimal, and all you must do is simply follow the directions. You can grow a variety of fresh vegetables, herbs, flowers, and more with the premade seed kits.
Currently, I have been growing a crop of delicious heirloom cherry tomatoes which has been so bountiful I haven’t needed to purchase extra. Keep in mind, a successful victory garden will ideally replace what you would normally buy at the grocery store. This method of food security will save you money while providing an opportunity to pick fresh produce as needed. Not to mention, there is something incredibly satisfying about watching your very own garden grow.
If you find yourself with an abundance of produce, instead of throwing it out — pay it forward. Share your harvest with a neighbor or someone else who could benefit from fresh, healthy, home-grown food. You can even create compost with leftover organic scraps. This will simultaneously minimize waste while providing fertilizer for your victory garden to recycle in the future. It is always a good idea to be more self-sufficient and sustainable rather than reliant on others to survive. Happy planting!