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Earth Day: Victory Gardens

Happy Earth Day! A fun way to celebrate our planet is to plant a garden full of flowers or vegetables. Did you know that throughout both World Wars Americans were going through a popular planting phase? The patriotic idea of producing your own food combated the threat of wartime rationing. By calling them victory gardens, Americans were sowing the seeds of victory by planting their vegetables they lessened commercial farmers’ responsibility and prevented a food shortage during war times. A victory garden makes victory meals. Propaganda was everywhere inspiring every family in suburban neighborhoods to have their vegetable garden, community gardens were designed in cities for those without a yard, and schools even had their fruit and vegetables planted by students for students. During the Second World War, Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden on the white house front lawn. Handbooks on how to garden, what insects are bad, and even how to prevent earworms from entering corn were mass-produced to hide the introduction of food rationing. 1943 over 20 million gardens were planted producing around 8 million tons of food. Americans supplemented their own rations while Some of the most popular produce planted were beans, peas, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, and turnips. Programs organized communities together to promote and assist in home gardening. Gardening inspired community involvement, interest in the natural environment, and independence from corporate food industries. However, the popularity for garden growing decreased as the necessity did. As the weather gets nicer a tiny garden might be fun to try out this summer, victory gardens are fun way to dig into American soil and eat your own homegrown food!

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