Victory Gardens for all?

THE FUN TOPIC of the day/week/month/year is the new interest in home gardening. This could be YOU!


Even the White House is getting in on the act. Mrs. Obama and some school children broke ground last week for the White House Vegetable Garden. So much has been written about food safety, sustainability, availability, and self-sufficiency in a the recession…I won’t bore you by repeating it here. Every news channel, newspaper, blog, radio program, internet site is on board.

In the world of old-timey gardeners (by that, I mean me, and anyone who has been gardening the last few years/decades), one of the interesting questions is this: “Will the newbies be bit by the bug?”

It hasn’t been lookin’ good of late. In the last five years, the numbers of attendees at garden shows everywhere have been declining, in some cases, precipitously. Retail nurseries have been scratching their collective heads, conducting expensive surveys of thirty-somethings, and trying to figure out how to get Gen X to come play in the dirt. Who knew it would be this nation’s disgraceful financial disaster that would ultimately bring folks back down to earth?

I am hopeful. We all started somewhere, and most of my gardening pals began gardening at their parents’ or grandparents’ knees. We gained, through osmosis and love, an appreciation of beautiful flowers, a taste for home grown vegetables, and a desire to try our hands at gardening. When you cut your first bouquet of flowers, grown from a perennial starts; or taste your first warm tomato while still standing in the garden, a tomato, grown from seed or seedling; or prepared a salad for yourself and family from your lettuce patch, I don’t think there’s any going back. For me, home grown tomatoes are not an option.

And, if you can’t grow it all yourself, not to worry. I buy my pumpkins and big squash at the farmer’s market because I don’t have room for them in my city garden. I buy corn on the cob from the family that parks their truck on State Street. I belong to a CSA.

While I am waiting for the weather to warm up enough to plant my peas and spuds, I’ve been trying to keep up with all the writing on the new Victory Gardens. I will be expanding my veg garden right into the center of my perennial borders. My bountiful beautiful borders.

So, while you are waiting to plant your tomato seeds, waiting to see the first peas break through, or waiting for the ground to thaw, enjoy a walk through the garden of nostalgic and inspirational posters.



Better yet, make a poster featuring you and your new Victory Garden.

10 thoughts on “Victory Gardens for all?”

  1. Yep, gardening with my mom when I was a kid is what started it all. I hope it does catch on, not just because growing your own is so healthy, but also because gardening is a good way to become healthy, all that outdoor activity, etc. I love the old posters.

  2. Thank you for not saying all that’s already been said. I think one could kill a hobby horse if one rides it too hard. And I wish we didn’t have to scare people into growing plants. Why can’t it be something normal people do in normal times, instead of something scared people do in scary times?

  3. I can’t believe that in a nation where so many people get their veggies washed and cut up at the store or predigested in processed food (if they even eat them at all), a majority is going to grow their own.

    That means getting the ground ready, seeding, transplanting, watering, weeding, fertilizing, harvesting, washing peeling, cooking. Really??? People are really going to do this en masse??? When they’ve never grown anything before? I have my doubts.

    I grew up on a farm and we had huge veggie gardens, and everything was perserved, frozen for the winter too. It was work, pure and simple, and as kids we didn’t love it, that’s for sure.

    Personally, I’m a recovering veggie gardener, who now gets her veggies from the independent small grower down the road. This fellow has so much great stuff on offer in season he can’t even sell it all. I tried the big veggie garden thing myself on my acreage until it stopped being fun. (There’s just two of us, and a limit to how much we can eat, and how much time we now want to spend gardening.)

  4. Hi there! I just happened upon your website. I am in Boise and am going to (FINALLY!) plant a garden in our backyard. I’ve never done this before – in any way – but I am SO excited. I don’t have a lot of room so I am wondering if you have 5 or 10 things that you would suggest that grow well here in Boise. Maybe something that is easy for a first timer?

  5. Ah, yes, the new buzz word for 2009 is now ‘Recession Garden’.
    I don’t care what people call ’em as long as they start learning to grow and care for them.
    It’s a good trend, and about darn time.

  6. Re: “This could be YOU!”

    I promise I will never stand there in my yard, hands on hips in a pleated skirt and bobby socks with a ‘What the heck am I going to do with all this produce?” look on my face. I know what to do with all that produce.

    (No offense to those wearing bobby socks is intended.)

  7. I grew up gardening with my dad…and have continued since I started my own family. We moved into a new house here in Boise a couple of years back and the garden spot was small. I’m expanding it this year. I’ve always grown tomatoes (the best ones are homegrown…not store bought), cucumbers, squash, zuchs, onions, and peppers. I want to add to it this year since I’m expanding. Our neighbor grow a ton of peas and beans and share, so I’ll let them continue there. But thinking of trying things this year I haven’t tried before…like brocolli and cauliflower. I’ve never done early spring planting, so not sure what can be planted now. Dad and I always waited til the last frost…any ideas??

  8. Love your site! I’m in Texas so the Idaho part doesn’t apply much, but I’m a brand new gardener this year- trying my hand at a few basic things. It’s sure nice to find great information and inspiration from different blogs of “old-timers”.

    I agree fully- it’s about time many of us have started using our God-given gifts to help feed ourselves. I’m hoping I get really bitten by the bug. I’m thinking it would make a lot of sense to fill my pool with top-soil and go all out next year! 🙂

    Take care and thanks for the great resource.

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