During World War I and World War II families in the United States planted Victory Gardens to help lessen the food shortage as a result of the war. Over the years from 1942 to 1944 during World War II, Victory Gardens grew 8 million tons of food for American Families. As I watched grocery store shelves empty this week, I could not help but think about those Victory Gardens. What if instead of hoarding TP Americans planted gardens? As the effects of this virus spread across the nation, food shortage is going to become a problem. According to Modern Farmer, the average age for the American Farmer is 58. The age group that is being affected the most is 50 and older. Take a moment to let that sink in. If the population that is growing our food, is the population that is becoming sick, what is going to happen to our food?
I don’t know the answer to that question, however, I can tell you I am not going to stand around and wait to find out. We all need to take some accountability for our families food supply. So how do we do that? First of all, the next time you go to Walmart for your 100th pack of TP grab some vegetable seed packets and seed starting soil mix. All of the Walmarts have them out right now in the garden sections. Most grocery stores have them available as well, along with Dollar Tree and Dollar General. If you are staying home and not going out at all, I recommend online suppliers like Burpee Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Annies, Johnny Select Seeds and Southern Seed Savers.
Okay, so you decided maybe you would take a try at this farming thing, what do you do first? The good thing is that it is not too late. Spend one of the days you are home watching your backyard. Where do you get the most sun? Think about trees that will cast a shadow in a month when they are full. Ideally, you would like 7 solid hours of sunlight in one spot.
Now that you know where you are going to plant your garden all you need is a box. Lay the cardboard out on the grass as big as you would like your garden to be. Put bricks, dirt, rocks anything on it to hold it down. Let it sit there. The cardboard over the next couple of months will kill the grass, warm up the soil and bring any earthworms to the surface to start aerating the soil.
In my next post, I will talk about starting those seeds you are going to work on getting your hands on. If you can not find seeds, start now saving the ones you have in your house. Do you have that last lonely tomato in the bottom of the fridge? Cucumber? Dried beans? Organic potatoes? Butternut? Think about what you have around the house now that has seeds in it. You might be able to us those, make sure the seeds have never been cooked. Raw vegetables only.
Also, to plant a “seed” for future thought. Most Tractor Supply stores have baby chicks right now, you could control your own egg supply too! More about that and starting seeds in my next post.