During the 1940’s, the war efforts resulted in government rationing of foods, such as sugar, milk, eggs, coffee, and meat. Creating even more of a burden on families, transportation and labor shortages made it difficult to market fruits and vegetables across the country.
So the U.S. government encouraged citizens to plant what became known as “Victory Gardens” to provide their own fresh fruits and vegetables.
It is estimated that about 20 million Americans planted such gardens during the war. Citizens planted gardens in their yards, patios, empty lots, and even on city rooftops. Often, neighbors pooled their resources to plant different kinds of foods; hence, food “cooperatives”— the historical equivalent of our local community gardens — were started. Sadly, most of these gardens later gave way to pavement, swimming pools, encroaching industries, and the construction boom.
Today, because of economic conditions and other concerns about food safety, and the environmental costs in the transportation of food, many families are going back to growing their own food in their own backyards.
So it’s easy to see why there’s never been a better time for individuals and communities to return to the age of personal food production.