Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability: Victory Gardens are Back!

During World War II ordinary citizens across the country did their part for the war effort by planting victory gardens to lessen the demand on the food system caused by the war. Some have suggested that sustainability is about returning to the more efficient ways of the past and, until now, the concept of widespread victory gardens had been lost to history.

A Growing Trend

While they are not called victory gardens, there is a resurgence of growing ones food at home. Driven both both by the economy and environmental concerns, more and more families are turning to their backyards for sustenance. In fact, US seed sales are up 19% this year and the number of homes growing vegetables is up 40%. Backyard chickens also seem to be growing in popularity (you can see a picture of my chicks here), although some disagree.

Community Allotment Gardens

In many parts of Europe victory gardens never went away. These "Schreber," or "allotment" gardens can often find a for-rent garden plot, oftentimes on residentially and commercially undesirable land beside railroads. Organizations like FutureFarmers are bringing back this concept here in the US.

Victory Gardens at the White House

Even the White House has been home to a victory garden. Starting with Elanor Roosevelt during WWII, it is now being continued my Michelle Obama. Thanks to the internet we are now able to make backyard gardening easier than ever, with numerous how-to websites providing information on making gardening easier, even for those without a green thumb.

Don't Forget the Backyard Fruit

The internet has even enabled and innovative new community fruit sharing program. Neighborhood Fruit allows people with surplus fruit from their own trees to share them with other people in the community. Unwanted fruit no longer needs to spoil on the ground and those without their own trees no longer need to put up with half-ripe, globe trotting supermarket fruit. My own fruit trees should begin producing soon and I look forward to joining.Pablo writes a weekly column that aims to answer your pressing eco-quandries. Want to ask Pablo a question? Simply email Pablo(at)treehugger(dot)com. Pablo is the Vice President of Greenhouse Gas Management at ClimateCHECK, he helps major corporations measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions and is the proud father of four backyard chickens.
Image Source: Wikipedia.org
More on organic gardening
FutureFarmers
How to Raise Chickens
Community Fruit Harvesting
Obama's White House Garden

Tags: Agriculture | Apples | Community Gardens | Fruits & Vegetables | Gardening | Local Food

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