Friday, October 10, 2014

The modern American garden has its roots in the Victory Garden of WWII

Much of Americans and British gardening today has its roots in the victory gardens of WWII.
In America the goal of the Victory Garden was to supply fresh fruits and vegetables.

The PDF “Grow your own Victory Garden” has suggestions based on historical records for creating your own victory garden.

Spring garden suggested crops

Carrot - Amarillo, St. Valery
Lettuce - Bronze Arrow, Forellenschuluss, Black-Seeded Simpson, Tennis Ball
Kale - Red Russian, Early Curled Siberian Kale
Onion - Red Wethersfield, Siskiyou Sweet
Peas - alderman Tall Telephone, Corne De belier, Green Arrow
Radish - Red Meat, White Icicle

Summer garden suggested crops

Basil - Lettuce Leaf, Mrs. Burns Lemon
Beans, Bush - Black Pencil Podded
Beans, Pole - Kentucky Wonder, Dow Purple Podded, Good Mother Stallard
Beans, Lima - Red Calico
Corn, Popcorn - Strawberry
Corn, Sweet - Stowell's Evergreen, Golden Bantam, Texas Honey June
Cucumber - Lemon, Early Russian, Suyo Long
Eggplant - Black Beauty, Rosa Bianca
Muskmelon - Hale's Best, Pike
Okra - Clemson Spineless
Pepper - California Wonder, Marconi, Black Czech
Pumpkin - Rouge Vif D'etampes
Squash, Summer - Yellow Crookneck, Cocozelle Bush
Squash, Winter - Blue Hubbard
Tomato - Yellow pear, Brandywine, Mortgage Lifter, Cherokee Purple
Watermelon - Moon and Stars, White Wonder

Fall-Winter garden suggested crops

Beets - Detroit Dark Red, Bull's Blood, Chioggia
Broccoli - Calabrese
Cabbage - Early Jersey Wakefield
Carrot - Amarillo, St. Valery
Cauliflower - (All-Year-Round)
Lettuce - Bronze Arrow, Forellenschuluss, Black-Seeded Simpson, Tennis Ball
Kohirabi - Purple Vienna
Parsley - Extra Curled Dwarf
Parsnip - Sugar Hollow Crown
Radish - Red Meat, White Icicle
Spinach - Viroflay, Bloomsdale Long Standing
Swiss Chard - Ruby
Turnip - (Purple-Top White Globe)

If you look at the top rated products at Burpee’s seeds you will see they line up well with the victory garden above.
Top Rated Products at Burpee’s
Tomato Big Beef Hybrid
Sweet Pepper The Godfather Hybrid
Corn Maple Sugar Sweet Hybrid
Sweet Pepper Gypsy Hybrid
Tomato Sugar Snack Hybrid (Cherry)
Cantaloupe Sweet'n Early Hybrid
Cucumber Sweeter Yet Hybrid
Corn Silver Queen Hybrid
Summer Squash Sweet Gourmet Hybrid

If you look at the “Vegetable Carbohydrate Chart” showing low carb and high carb vegetables you will find 13 low carb items listed and only five high carb items listed.
For high carb they only list Onions, Parsnips, Green Peas, Acorn Squash, Lima Beans

It is America’s legacy of WWII that has left us today with a focus on the lower calorie items for much of our gardens in America. Staples such as dent corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes, etc. are cheap and easy to obtain. So most people do not bother growing these crops, which is sad because some varieties offer a lot culinary wise. Much of what we grow today would fit well into the victory garden of the early 1940’s. If you go areas of the world where subsistence farming is still practiced you will see a focus on high calorie crops. Each of these cultures will have one or more high calorie crops that their society depends on to meet a large portion of their daily calorie needs. 

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