Saturday, March 27, 2010

Learning from the Past

I've been thinking a lot today about why I feel compelled to grow my own food. Somehow, I think this video has a lot to do with it. I love watching this footage of our gardening forefathers working the land. While our growing techniques have changed through the ages, it seems the core principles still remain the same. Will our country ever take part in such a powerful movement again? Victory was their motivation....what should ours be?


  1. Great video clip thomas.

    I feel quite strongly that victory gardens are timeless and as needed today as they were during times of war. The motivations are many:

    Good Health - a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits is proven to be life extending

    Food Independence and Frugality - providing a large portion of your own food supply is economical and ensures you are not at the mercy of corporate food supply systems that are increasingly the source of e coli and other mutated strains of seriously dangerous contaminants.

    Reduces Reliance on Fossil Fuel Fed Factory Farms - as liquid fossil fuels become scarcer and more expensive food that is dependent on large and regular applications of chemical fertilizers and pesticides (made from fossil fuel products) and shipped vast distances (using fuel) and stored in refrigerator/coolants (also uses fossil fuels) - will become increasingly more expensive

    Provides Great Personal Satisfaction - actively working to produce your own food supply is more rewarding than many endeavors we do in the pursuit of wages. We are the boss and our efforts are rewarded with tangible results (tasty too!)

    There are more reasons but suffice it to say that the new war is one of personal indepedence - a revolution in actuality. I feel strongly enough about it that I have dedicated my website and blog to that very notion.

  2. I "dig" this video too ! (Btw, The Imperial War Museum, London, is hosting the "Ministry of Food" exhibition all year long and the site is just teeming with all that stuff).

    Can't top what KitsapFG said !

  3. Sadly I have no sound on my computer so can't watch videos :<, but I really loved the victory garden movement of past times. It was a time when the country all came together to help one another. My mom lived on a farm at the time and her parents let other people from town use part of the land for their victory gardens. I always thought that was such a nice thing.

  4. Wow! This is a great video that explains many useful tools. It amazes me that school children used to tend to plots. I take my knowledge of gardening for granted. My family always gardened and I learned from them as I grew up as they learned from their ancestors.

  5. This is quite the coincidence - I down loaded this same video last night to post to my blog today! You beat me to it!
    I feel a lot of reasons why we should grow our own food in today's society. I won't go into a lot of detail, but, all I can say, is if you've ever watched Food Inc., that'll get you motivated.

  6. As a descendent of slaves, gardening has been survival for a long time. Poor African-Americans had to plant gardens - if they didn't, they often didn't eat. Ham hocks, chitlins, and black eyed peas may be haute cuisine now, but back in the day this kind of soul food was all one had to eat. I remember an interview featuring Eddie Murphy and he mentioned there were days when he had to gather dandelion greens outside as there was nothing else to eat. As far as I can remember, every member of my father's family had a little patch of red-baked earth, barely fertile (who could afford to keep livestock? Composting was nearly impossible because you couldn't afford to waste anything, and the same went for green manure - why grow something you couldn't eat?) but kept ticking over just long enough to grow some turnips, sweet potatoes and chili peppers, maybe some tomatoes if you were lucky.

    I grow a garden because, honestly, I can't really afford not to. Due to climate change, the price of fresh produce where I live is soaring, especially when it comes to fruit during the summer. At least my son is showing an interest in eating veg now and hopefully this means I can stretch meals while still getting him his five-a-day without breaking the bank on incredibly expensive raspberries. So I'll grow my own raspberries and cherries, and try and teach other single mums in my area who are similarly struggling to take a bit of pressure off by growing something, anything, where they can.

  7. I don’t know a lot about victory gardens, but I love this video. And I have to say that most of the growing techniques shown here are still done, mostly by elderly people that were my age at time when this video was made.

  8. I am motivated to grow as much of my own veggies and fruit as I can. The taste and nutrition are better and growing my own means less impact on the environment.

  9. Nice find on the video Thomas. I smiled at the men and women who were so nicely attired and working in the garden. You wouldn't find me being filmed in my getup... baseball cap, knee pads, torn short... lol

    Thomas, I grew up in my (maternal) grandparents home and the garden planted each year was for survival. There was no 'go to the grocery and pick up a ... ', but what was grown was that which was on the table and canning helped get through the winter. They fled Soviet occupied territory and knew what it meant to survive.

    We are seeing more and more people start gardens, a few who have never had one before. Our niece visited this week and she is renting a plot in Portland OR and will attempt her first garden; one of our neighbors is beginning to build raised beds.

    I believe that film is not a far stretch from what could be a reality. Food prices are continuing to climb (last week cauliflower was $3 per head.) California farmers in the San Joaquin valley, which has supplied much of the produce, was cut off from water last year due to the "sucker" fish and farms are dry dust bowls; thus, we are importing greater quantities from Mexico and S America. Sorry to paint a grim picture, but with stagnant or declining wages, rising unemployment, skyrocketing taxes to come and inflation... people will have to turn to self reliance and personal responsibility.

    Thanks for the "food" for thought. You are a survivor Thomas and I am honored to know you. Diana

  10. This video is awesome! I especially love the guy digging in the dirt with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth! Love those old movies...

  11. Love the vid. An hour in the garden is much better than an hour in the "queue!" And we should garden for any number of reasons...
    What could be bad about making the world a bit greener and a bit prettier?

  12. Great video find! With global climate change, we all need to be growing at least some of our own food for food security, as well as for our peace of mind. A connection to the earth is rooted deep in our genes. Gardening makes us feel happy, and gives us good, nutritious, safe food.

  13. Oh, I must be home sick? that video made me cry, thanks for sharing, my dad was 5 at the outbreak of WW11 and he and his brothers where lucky that due to his younger brother being 2 his Mum could be evacuated with him, on a family evacuation, my Pop was stationed in Leeds, and he found the family a house to rent there! seems crazy to me that leeds was an evacuation place, but their you go! they lived in Bomb Alley originally (Kent).
    he didn't see his father for 6 years!
    his school was 3 stories high and the playground was on the roof, he remembers that more than half of it was turned over to garden, and the children and teachers, (many who where elderly, brought out of retirement so the younger ones could do war work)and children tended this, and his mum's patch was her lawn and the lawn of a bombed out building!
    we don't know we are born!