Did you know there was a campaign during World War II to plant gardens for the sake of reducing the costs of transporting food and thereby for the sake of contributing to the war effort?
I knew many people had gardens, and I knew that even schools often had gardens in efforts to be more self-sustaining (and to teach agriculture). I didn’t know there was a specific campaign for Victory Gardens.
Most likely I never heard this term because my grandparents didn’t call their gardens Victory Gardens. They were growing them anyway before the war and continued after the war. But they were country people. The Victory Gardens evidently really took off in urban settings.
Now, of course, if the Department of Defense asked Americans to plant gardens to reduce fuel costs and reduce the amount of money we’re spending on foreign oil that is just going straight into the hands of the enemy, ten food industry coalitions would sue, and political accusations would fling in all directions.
The Victory Garden campaign was a success, though, with millions of new gardens planted. Even Eleanor Roosevelt got in on the act, planting a Victory Garden at the White House.
If it was good enough for Eleanor, it’s good enough for me. I think I’ll call my garden Peas for Peace, but first I’ll have to plant some peas.