The majority of Oklahoma experienced a sustaining drought throughout last fall and on through Winter 2010-11. No rain. Zero. When this kind of thing happens in the winter, it’s not quite as noticeable as it is when green things are growing. However the situation was pretty bad: until just a few days ago fire warnings had been published, all our snow had only amounted to mere tenths of an inch once melted and the winter wheat was really suffering.
Then last week the rain came. In torrents. Although our whole state didn’t get moisture, a good deal did and that “good deal” included My Little Victory Garden. Two days after Mick had plowed up the beautiful soil into a soft loam for planting, the rain came with a vengeance. My yard still has “wavy grass” reminders, my garden was flooded and the aftermath is a now uneven, cracked plot with sand in it. Why sand? The rain was so hard it found a weak, lower area in our neighbors yard and drilled down behind our retaining wall, oozing out the native sandy loam through the cracks. But that wasn’t the worst damage. My garden got off easy.
Gardening means so many positive things to me that I was having a hard time finding just the right phrase to title my new series. I gave serious consideration to “Kelly Does Dirt,” “Dirty Fingernails Are Nature’s Perfect Manicure,” “Fresh Veggies Are Better Than Making Whoopee,” …well, you get the picture. In other words, I was having a hard core creativity block.
When I gave up brainstorming and closed my laptop, the title “Victory Garden” popped into my head. I realized I didn’t even know the history of the term. So, I “Wikied” it. *I’m guessing I utilize the resource at least once a day. Here’s what I learned:
Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herbgardens planted at private residences and public parks in United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens become a part of daily life on the home front.
What a gift! History had at that moment handed me what I needed. It seems that there has been somewhat of a resurgence the past few years in private residence and public community gardens. Further, my gardens have been my own personal morale booster; they truly have helped me feel empowered by the contribution to our family and health. The “reward of labor” comes almost daily at the height of summer’s harvest.