Victory Garden Tradition

Despite the media-fueled whinging going on about rising food prices, the national situation is nothing near where it was during WWII, when canned food was rationed and Victory Gardens first became popular…but growing your own fresh veg just makes sense. It’s significantly cheaper to grow a $2 red bell pepper plant (or a $.05 seed), which will produce dozens and dozens of peppers during the growing season, than to spend $4 per lb for imported peppers from Honduras at the grocery store.

Our Mad Rocket Scientist has posted here before on Urban Gardening, for those of you who haven’t seen it there’s tons of good information in there on getting started no matter how small a space you might have.

We here at Casa de Ligne have a smallish 1/4 acre, taken up mostly by house and pool, but we’re thoroughly exploiting the space we do have for maximum yield. In the area between the bbq patio and the house, we have four 2×6 foot planter boxes, filled with a delightful mixture of compost, good topsoil, and peat moss. And we’re growing things sized appropriately to that space: sugar baby watermelons, orchard baby corn (five feet tall at full growth), beans (which will use the cornstalks as a trellis), many different peppers, zucchini, four kinds of cucumbers, seven varieties of tomatoes (most of these are actually in large pots), radishes, and a stupid number of specialty melons, both climbing up trellises and pretending to be just low-growing greenery with pretty flowers around the landscaping out front.

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So, while our growing efforts aren’t strictly necessary from an economic standpoint, they are highly enjoyable, much less expensive/more tasty than shopping at the grocery store, and pleasing to pay homage to those who sacrificed so much during WWII, both abroad and at home.

If anyone would like a Victory Garden seed sampler, just leave a comment and I will be delighted to provide. The sampler will include at minimum:

  1. Beans
  2. Cucumbers
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Melons
  5. Corn
  6. Peppers (hot and sweet)

And if you have questions about care/feeding of any of the above, sing out, as well. Knowledge is power!

This is a Patriot’s Journey post. Remember to check out the other Patriotic Journeyers: Drumwaster, The Bastage, Inessential Musings, and The Edge of Reason

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2 Responses to “Victory Garden Tradition”

  1. Madrocketscientist Says:
    May 28th, 2008

    Because I just CAN NOT shut up about gardening and growing food, I’m gonna pitch in some more ideas.

    Here are some crops that grow fast and will provide yield all season as long as they are tended to:

    Lettuce and Spinach; just pick the leaves as they get big enough, and if you see a flower spike, cut it off right away since once they flower, the flavor of the leaves changes dramatically for the worse.

    Peas and Beans; if you start them early, or live where there is a long growing season, you can easily keep picking pods all season.

    Cucumbers and Zucchini; pick the fruit when they are only about 6″ long and they will keep flowering until first frost.

    Tomatoes; keep picking and they will keep flowering, especially cherry/grape/roma tomatoes, since they grow and ripen fastest.

    Root Veggies; Beets, carrots, radishes, etc – start them early in jiffy pots or paper egg cartons and put them in boxes or a garden that has VERY loose soil (a good mix of top soil, peat moss, and Perlite will keep the soil from becoming concrete with very little effort), keep the soil loose and well watered and they will grow quickly with little effort or fertilizer. When you are about two to three weeks from harvesting your root veggies, start new ones in more starter pots and after your harvest, get the new ones in the ground ASAP. Chances are you’ll get a second harvest.

    And once again, my favorite veggie, potatoes. Recall my stacked tire method? Tires are not the only thing you can stack, and depending on where you live, stacking tires may upset your neighbors. You can try stacking plastic containers if you cut out the centers of the bottoms. If you want and even more aesthetically pleasing option, just build a planter box out of wood (cedar) or composite planks with the corners made from 4x4s. To make them stackable, create a loose fitting mortise and tenon joint with the 4x4s so when you want to add another layer, you can just stack it on top and the joint will keep it from shifting about.

    ReplyReply
  2. Rob Jones Says:
    May 31st, 2008

    I would most certainly like to take you up on your kind offer. I live in the NorCal foothills, where lows of late have been in the upper 30sF and my first try at cherry & roma ‘maters has suffered a sorry fate.
    Greatly enjoy dropping by your site, and would like to pass along my thanks to all here who’ve served our country, and their families.
    If you’ll email me back I’ll provide my real mail address (am a little shy about posting it on the web) and then I’ll try to keep you posted on how my efforts turn out.
    Thanks.

    Rob J

    ReplyReply

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