During the first World War, individuals in the United States were encouraged to plant gardens to produce food items to that could be exported to European allies. This food effort began out of a need to compensate for the fact that agriculture workers in Europe were being inducted into the military and farms were becoming battlefields. Promoted by Charles Lathrop Pack as an effort to “Sow the seeds of victory”, the campaign facilitated the planting of more than 5.2 million gardens which produced an estimated 1.45 million quarts of canned fruits and vegetables. The effort was repeated again during the second World War when food products were diverted to aid the military overseas, and food rationing became necessary to ensure the balance of supply and demand.
Although today’s climate does not reflect the original purpose behind the Victory Garden movement, it can be seen as a vehicle to alleviate the emotions and reactions to the continued COVID-19 pandemic. As individuals are required to practice social distancing and access to public amenities continues to be restricted, working in or on a garden can be cathartic and rewarding. An individual has the opportunity to create a space that beautifies, provides a habitat for butterflies, bees, and birds, or produces fresh, succulent fruits and vegetables all while supporting local businesses such as nurseries that may be struggling to navigate the economic impact created by the pandemic. If you have access to land on which you can plant why not sow your own seeds of victory to enjoy during and after the pandemic has subsided?