What are Victory Gardens?

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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A little lesson in history


When the whole world was embroiled in the second World War, life was reduced to its simplest parts. Resources were scarce. Manufacturing had turned only to products that were necessary for the war effort. Automobile companies made tanks, while others made fighter planes.

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Basic items were rationed so raw materials could be diverted toward production of planes, tanks, destroyers and aircraft carriers. Supplies like toilet paper, toothpaste, lotions and shaving soap were needed for the troops.

And, food was rationed. Yes, RATIONED. Every family had a ration book; so many tickets per week for butter, for milk, for poultry and meat. To augment the food supply, a nationwide effort was launched encouraging everyone to grow as much produce as they could, not only for themselves, but for those in need. The plots, large and small, yards or pots on the porch, were called “Victory Gardens.”

If the circumstances described above seem suddenly familiar, that’s because, of course, that’s what we’re experiencing now. With one really huge difference – we’ve been enduring our situation for three or four months. Before, Americans went through it for FOUR YEARS!

Here is the hard truth. Many people in our country have lost their jobs. It will take a long time for these jobs to come back. Some my never come back. They are our neighbors, our friends. And they need our help. So, grow your garden. Everything you plant is an act of love, an act of community, when we need it most.

If you think this virus is going to be over soon, I’m sorry, but you’re kidding yourself. There are many hard times ahead. So far, there is no proven treatment. A vaccine won’t come until the first of next year, at the earliest.

So, let’s grow up. Be smart. Be compassionate. Be kind. Go to a local source and buy one – or a hundred – vegetable plants. Plant in your yard, or in a pot on your porch. Then bring the produce to Tryon Toy Makers and Carolina Confections, next to The Bottle in downtown Tryon. We will get it to Thermal Belt Outreach Ministries who will distribute the vegetables to families who are in a real struggle.

And speaking about caring for others, a mask is not an emblem of fear, it’s a badge of honor. It means you give a hoot about your fellow man.

Submitted by Julia Calhoun