The Modern Victory Garden

“Victory gardens” of vegetables, fruits, and herbs were first grown at private residences and public parks all over the world to reduce the pressure on public food supply brought on by World War I. From America to Canada to Europe, people began planting these “Food Gardens for Defense” to aid the war effort and to boost local morale. These contributions of labor and care empowered and rewarded people all over the globe, and marked the unofficial beginning of the tradition of domestic gardening maintained in our society today.


But the coolest thing about “victory gardens” is that they did not cease after the war stopped, and actually still haven’t. While we may not be planting for the sole purpose of directly relieving our food supply system, we still plant to achieve many other small victories relative to modern problems. The Peterson Garden Project  is a not-for-profit organization looking to inspire people to grow their own food and, by default, their community. Hoping to make urban gardening the new social norm, members of the organization hope to use the motivational evidence of the historical victory garden to convince people, gardeners and non-gardeners alike, that we can build our communities through gardens. Not only do they believe that gardening provides better tasting (and better looking) produce, but also that it can bring people the “small victories” they need out of life in a fun, interactive, and sustainable way.


Here is a paraphrased version of the “small victories” that planting your own domestic or community garden can provide you, according to the inspired team at Peterson Garden Project…


1. Taste: Store-bought vegetables are produced for quantity, not quality– they are utterly incomparable to the ones fresh out of your own garden, giving you more flavor, more varieties, and more culinary satisfaction!

2. Health: Naturally grown vegetables are significantly better for your health and wellness, acting as disease preventatives and vitamin boosters.

3. Cost: Buying seeds to grow your vegetables yourself is not only much cheaper in the short-term than buying all of your produce in-store, but act as the “gifts that keep on giving” if preserved for the next season!

4. Environment: By growing our own food we can substantially decrease the carbon footprint of commercially-grown and transported produce.

5. Lessons: Not only can growing a garden act as a great lesson of science and plain old responsibility for anyone, let alone kids, but it can also teach you new skills to make you a more well-rounded individual and throw some added excitement and knowledge into your life.

6. Community: Creating a garden in your community may be just the push your fellow residents need to get out there, interact, and build a bond amongst your local neighbors. It also helps to add some beauty to your surroundings in an interactive and creative way!

7. Charity: Through growing a garden at home or somewhere in your community, you have the chance to help improve the lives of others through charitable donations of the bounty produced so that everyone can share in the garden glory!

America may not be in the food bind it was during WWI, but it is still struggling economically. We have a chance to improve these circumstances through the beautiful and bountiful act of gardening to win ourselves, our community, and our country some small victories! Get out there and win!

For more information on the Peterson Garden Project, visit


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