By: Jennifer Erix
The country is at war, the economy is in question and many people have little in the way of spending cash. No, I am not talking about current events, I am speaking of the 1930’s. This is the decade that was sandwiched between the failing of the stock market and World War II. We often call it, the Great Depression. There was, however, some happiness.
That time in our history saw huge gains in homemade, backyard, needed to survive garden called “Victory Gardens”. With little money and a war on, it was very hard to find even a simple tomato at the market. Add to that the patriotic message sent out that stated that for every vegetable you grow for yourself, you were freeing up resources and food for our troops. It was a strong message and Americans took on the challenge. But it was not without problems.
People were getting sick from lack of vitamins. However, with no work and the Midwest in the midst of a drought, seed money was hard to come by. Not only were Victory Gardens a great way to insure that your family would have fresh vegetables throughout the year, it also meant a small source of income when jobs were hard to come by. How did they do it? The gardens were practically free! You can make your own victory garden. And yes, for practically free!
Let’s cut to the chase. Visit your local grocery store’s produce section. There are tons of vegetable seeds, right in front of you. Hint, they are IN the vegetables! Yes! You can actually grow items from the seeds they bare! Buy one item of what ever you wish to grow. Take it home and harvest the seeds. Plant them and viola! You have started your garden! And, you will never have to buy seeds again, as you can harvest new seeds from the plants you grow. Getting the seeds out properly is the key.
Not all seeds were created equal. And not all vegetables require seeds to grow. So let’s start with something simple. The potato. However you choose to spell it, there is a wealth of potential energy and food in one single potato. Anyone who has cleaned out their pantry and found that monster potato in the back corner, with spuds and roots all over can testify that potatoes will grow!
Find a potato that has green spuds. Spuds are the little green bumps on the skin of the potato that look like roots, simply because they are roots. Both red, small or “New” potatoes and the “Baker” regular brown potatoes will do just about the same. Take one home. Do not leave it in the clear plastic baggie. Make sure it remains dry and cool. The best place is it in a clean dark dry cabinet. Within a few days you will notice the spuds begin to bloom. Once you have a good 1-2 inches on the new roots, plant it.
What about other vegetables? Beans are seeds. Need more pinto beans? Plant a few of them. See what happens! How about tomatoes? Yes, they have seeds in them. Just be warned, if you get the seeds from the tomatoes you buy from the store, you ay get hybrids. Plus there are special considerations with the different plants. Such as in the case with tomatoes, where you will need small poles for the tomato plant vine to grow up on. And let’s not leave out peppers, peanuts and squash! They all have seeds and can be planted.
You only investment is the original plant. And with some good care, you can create your own Victory Garden. You will have fresh vegetables at nearly no cost!
Jennifer Erix is a freelance writer from Houston, Texas