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The Revival of Victory Gardens

4/10/20   9: 36 AM

By Stephanie Stevens

Amidst COVID-19, the world population is not only witnessing, but feeling the effects of the virus and “Stay Home Stay Healthy” orders.

As escalated measures are put in place to decrease the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of citizens, we are continuing to see changes in the society we once knew.

Meat processing plants are forced to close due to ill stricken workers, dairy farmers are dumping milk and cracking eggs, supplies that would usually be sold to processing plants, eventually reaching your schools and restaurants that are now closed.

Although sources say there is no need to worry about shortages yet, could we be seeing a swift shift in what may be next to come?

If so, how will you feed your family?

During World War I and World War II, the War Food Administration created what was known as the National Victory Garden Program. The program consisted of 5 main goals:

1. Decrease demands on commercial vegetable supplies, leaving more for the Armed forces.

2. Lessen the demand on strategic materials used for processing and canning.

3. Ease the burden on railroads transporting war munitions by releasing produce carriers.

4. Assist in maintaining the vitality and morale of Americans at home through being outdoors and producing healthy vegetables in their own gardens.

5. Preserve fruit and vegetables for future use if/when shortages became worsened.

With the fear of communities unable to withstand growing populations, sustainable eating was a high priority. Victory gardens were planted in the lawns of private residences, church and school yards as well as other community locations. Eleanor Roosevelt even grew a victory garden on the White House lawn and is said to have produced 40 percent of their own fruits and vegetables.

So, what does this mean for those of us living during a pandemic?

Local and on-line seed and garden suppliers have seen a drastic jump in sales this year, supporting the idea that more folks are planting their own gardens.

But why?

Are we seeing these increased numbers of home gardeners due to fear of food shortages in the future? Maybe planting is reducing and relieving the anxiety of lockdown measures that have been put in place? Maybe families without the advantage of working right now fear not knowing if they will be able to afford to put food on their table? Maybe individuals, families and communities see growing successful gardens as a way to provide for families and community members that are less fortunate?

Could this be bringing back the role as a family and community unit, working together to produce a stronger more connected bond and ensuring the sustainability of all?

Maybe it’s all of the above.

As we see restrictions tightening almost daily, could the uncertainty of the changing times be guiding Americans to the revival of the victory garden? Could successful planters today be encouraging their families and communities to be strong and rely on ourselves and the good will of others if the need arises?

What about Crooked River Ranch? Are our 5,000 plus residents putting preparations in place if need be? Is the Ranch Administration and Board of Directors taking steps to ensure the future well-being of individuals, families and the community as a whole?

If so, how is this being done? If not, why not?

We would love to hear from you in the COMMENTS, are you making preparations for the ever-changing times? Are you preparing garden beds to soon be planted? Are you a long-time gardener, or is it new to you because you feel it may become necessary? If you are planting, will the fruits of your labor sustain your family? Is it your goal to help support your community neighbors as well?

Ranch Matters Staff/Central Oregon Reporter

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