I'm of the mindset that every household should have a vegetable garden. This is not a new idea as Victory Gardens were encouraged as a way to save energy and keep people fed during World War I and World War II. Twenty million of these gardens existed producing 40% of the vegetable produce consumed nationally in the United States. Planting a vegetable garden was seen as a national duty.
I hope you enjoy the video. As you know this is a Canadian blog so I try to find content of interest to other Canadians. The video focuses on the American White House but the message really can be applied to any country. Our elected officials should be setting an example and practicing what they preach. I urge everyone to write their elected official at all levels of government conveying the idea of encouraging Victory Gardens as a way to help the environment, feed the hungry and encourage people to help themselves. I urge everyone reading this blog to grow fruits and vegetables at some level. If you can, grow more. If you don't have a garden now is the time to start one! Get involved. Start a community garden or a friendship garden. If you have more produce than you or your family can use when preserved for the following year, consider donating it to a food bank or church agency that will see it gets to a family in need. Encourage everyone you know to grow a vegetable garden. Spread the word, sign petitions and write letters but first ensure you are growing a vegetable garden!
Today we have the luxury of huge supermarkets stocked to overflowing with every kind of fruit and vegetable imaginable. However did you the average food travels 1500 miles from farm to table? Revive the Victory Garden and Eat Your View are two organizations that are encouraging households to grow Victory Gardens again as a way to reduce global warming. Planting edible landscaping makes good sense environmentally and economically. When you grow your own you end up with nutritious, fresh vegetables at a fraction of the cost of store bought. With gardening comes preserving either by canning, freezing or drying further reducing your food costs. It's a win win situation.
Did you know that home canning continues to increase fueled by the concerns over rising food prices. While a pressure canner necessary for canning low acid foods (vegetables, meats, etc.) will range in price from about $100 to $500 depending on the brand and size, they will more than pay for themselves within one season. Not only do you save money by preserving your own, you also can take advantage of buying local produce in season and preserving enough to get to the next season. I should mention that my pressure canner is in use year round often two or more times per week. Recipes, methods and pictures can be found on my cooking blog.
I've often mentioned on this blog and elsewhere that even small space gardening can be quite productive. Think outside of the box. Replace the environmentally unfriendly lawn with edible landscaping. Many herbs have beautiful flowers so plant perennial herbs instead of annuals. Those dandelions may be a weed in your lawn but if you don't use herbicides they make tasty salad greens. Use trellises and arbours to grow fruit and vegetables up instead of spreading. A small balcony can be used for container gardening. Small patches of land between sidewalk and house can be planted with vegetables or herbs. Window sills can be used to grow herbs and greens year round. Grow your own sprouts (mustard, bean, alfalfa, etc.) indoors year round. I've even had success growing tomatoes, peppers and potatoes indoors. Be sure to save seeds from your garden to reduce the cost of buying seeds the following year.