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Modern Victory Gardens and The Homesteading Movement

Karrie SteelySeventy years ago, the United States government rallied Americans to ‘do their part’ in the war efforts during WWII (as had been done during World War I as well). Propaganda posters were used to urge the public to plant victory gardens (among other things) because of food rationing. Patriotism and American pride became ever-present throughout the war to maintain civilian morale and support the military efforts. Posters that rallied Americans behind a common cause against a common enemy were hung in post offices, railroad stations, schools, restaurants and retail stores. People who weren’t fighting on the fronts or producing war materials wanted to be able to do their part, and Uncle Sam urged them to actively participate so that there was enough food and resources to help win the war. Everyday Americans could grow their own food, can and preserve, keep a backyard flock, and consume less in order to take part in the effort.

sow the seeds  dig chickens

plant today  Win the next war now canning

The growing grassroots movement of modern victory gardens harks back to that era. Increasing numbers of Americans are once again growing their own food, and therefore taking control of what their families eat. There may still be a connection between homegrown and homeland security, but times are very different, and so are the reasons that people are raising ‘victory gardens’, as well as becoming more self-sufficient in general. So why is this movement happening? Duty, patriotism and tradition are no longer the glue holding our society together. But there does seem to be a common need to become more independent.

Here are some reasons for taking back responsibility and control of our own food supply:

– Independence from corporate food systems (food security)

– Reducing reliance on fossil fuels

– Healthy and fulfilling lifestyle 

– Saving money as food costs rise

– Concerns  about the overall health of our food system and the food in it

– Connecting to where food comes from 

– Return to community-based living, and exchanging garden abundance with friends

– Safety, quality and availability of food

Uncle Sam the Pied Piper

Why do you grow your own food, or choose to live a self-sustainable lifestyle? I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts. Leave a comment here or join the "Homesteading" Facebook Room discussion. (I’ve set up a Facebook room to discuss ideas about modern homesteading. Download the Facebook rooms app on your phone if you haven’t already. Take a screen shot of this image. Open your app and push the “Use Invite” button in the lower right hand corner. Join in!)

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nebraskadave
10/31/2014 8:49:47 AM

Karrie, I have gardens for none of the reasons that you state. My gardening desires come from a long line generational farm DNA. I just like to grow things. I don't have a big desire to preserve them or be self sustainable but I do some preservation but most of the harvest is given away to friends, neighbors, or homeless food kitchens. My real motivation is from starting life on the farm and dabbling in gardening through out my life. However, none of my family really had the desire to help with gardening so the DNA laid dormant for decades. Now I'm retired, the kids are grown and gone, and I'm back to being a bachelor. The gardening DNA reactivated about five or six years ago. I have three properties with garden potential now. It's a great way to spend time in retirement. :-) ***** Have a great victory garden day.