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Victory Garden

The history of the Victory Garden is rooted in World War propaganda. During the first World War, the threat of food shortage was pressing heavily upon the American public, as well as those out fighting. Food production was taking a hit all over the world as more production workers were going to war. In 1917, Charles Lathrop Pack organized the US National War Garden commission, which mobilized the campaign with slogans like, "food will win the war!"

"War Gardens" were later re-branded as "Victory Gardens" and encouraged not just to subsidize food supply, but also to provide spiritual well-being during the stress of war times.

The following was taken from: Garden for Victory: Guide for Planning the Local Victory Garden Program, 1942

The Victory Garden Program will:

1. Increase the production and consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits by more and better home, school, and community gardens, to the end that we become a stronger and healthier Nation.

2. Encourage the proper storage and preservation of the surplus from such gardens for distribution and use by families producing it, local school lunches, welfare agencies, and for local emergency food needs.

3. Enable families and institutions to save on the cost of vegetables and apply this saving to other necessary foods which must be purchased.

4. Provide through the medium of community gardens, an opportunity for gardening by urban dwellers and others who lack suitable home garden facilities.

5. Maintain and improve the morale and spiritual well-being of the individual, family, and Nation. The beautification of the home and community by gardening provides healthful physical exercise, recreation, definite release from war stress and strain.

Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps also grew Victory Gardens, knowing they may not live to see the plants grow. Scientists have identified soil amendments, imported crops and indications of traditional landscaping techniques used in camps like Grenada and Manzanar. Gardening helped them keep their heritage alive, and find comfort in the worst of times.

So what happened to Victory Gardens after the war? It's hard to say, but some historians believe that people didn't want to be reminded of war times, and were happy to embrace the convenience of prepackaged foods.

However, I suspect that there is still Victory in the Garden.

If one tiny seed can inspire curiosity, and then transform curiosity into excitement, that is a victory.

If you can't get excited about anything, try curiosity. If you've been carrying too much for too long and depression is starting to creep in, it can be hard to feel truly excited about anything. That is the nature of depression, it takes the joy out of everything. But curiosity can be motivating, and it can lead to excitement. This is alchemy of the soul = transmuting energy into it's highest form.

If your soul has been looking for something, may I suggest this quest: grow something. Track down some seeds. There are millions of ways - heck save some from an apple you got at the Farmer's Market (make sure it's organic and non-GMO, ya know). Germinate that seed!

Get curious about how to get that baby to start.

Do some research.

Become invested in the outcome.


May you plant an entire garden of victories.

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