Seventy 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.
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
– 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
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!)