Springtime is one of my most very favorite times of the year, for many reasons…. Not the least of which is the anticipation of getting my fingers deep into the earth in preparation for seed planting time.
Spring this year has been somewhat challenging. Lots of distractions, an incredibly wet February and March, and a spirit of unrest that seems to have enveloped our world.
The leaves and flowers continue to unfurl from the safety of their buds as if to tell us that life will go on, despite the circumstances at hand.
It makes me want to talk to the old timers…. The ones who were around as kiddos and young adults during WWII. What did it feel like, to have such a great unknown? To know that a loved one could be taken from them because they said yes to following God and their country? With only snail mail letters to communicate in the interim?
I hope a bearer or two of these memories will comment because I have a strong love of history and would love to hear the stories of resilience on the home front……the peace they perhaps held that surpassed all understanding even when the world seemed anything but calm.
Perhaps this was another reason the people at home returned to gardening in 1942-43? Canned food and buying from grocery stores instead of self sufficiency was a relatively new concept to the world back then.
It had only been about 25 years since the first grocery store (A Piggly Wiggly if you remember those!) opened and self serve grocery shopping had quickly taken over supplying the USA with food.
25 years. One generation. Many had already lost sight of where nourishing food must come from.
1942….. Not 2020.
And then World War II happened…. and it didn’t last days….it lasted years. 😥
Ask one of the old timers about those times. Invariably, one of their strongest memories will be the rationing of foodstuffs. Food was in short supply for a variety of reasons:
🍅The processed and canned foods they had become accustomed to buying at Piggly Wiggly suddenly were reserved for shipping overseas to the soldiers who were fighting and to our Allies who were bearing the brunt of the war devastation.
🍅Transportation of fresh foods was limited because of gasoline and tire rationing (priorities were placed on getting those to soldiers and to the war effort)
🍅Many farmers in the USA were off fighting instead of growing food.
🍅Imported food, especially the likes of coffee and sugar, were limited in supply.
Rationing books were issued. (I have one that belonged to my grandmother.) Stamps inside the books were for certain food categories, and if you had already used your stamp for that product for the month, you were not eligible to buy it until the following month rolled around. It prevented hoarding and encouraged creative menu planning. ( Hmmm …. Seems like we could use that principle these days for basic things like toilet paper!)
Suddenly, the skill of gardening became an asset again…. Not reserved for someone living on a farm. By 1920 tho, more Americans lived in cities than in rural areas for the first time in America’s history so this had to have been hard.
This situation was something they felt unprepared for, they had no land to make gardens. For others, it felt like they were being called home….. back to their roots…. and it was those whom the former leaned into and learned from….. And a beautiful thing began to sprout around the United States…..
They began to sprout up across America and eventually across the world:
👩🌾People plowed up their beautiful front yards and lawns and began growing fruits and veggies.
👩🌾They pulled up their rose bushes and flowers and replaced them with edible foodstuffs.
👩🌾Pots and containers were used to grow gardens on back porches, patios, and stairways.
👩🌾Even public land was put to use….. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park had one of the best public gardens in the country!
Neighbors helping neighbors. 👫
Relying on God to supply no more or less than they needed.
Back to their roots.
The food, of course, was important, but so was the community idea of doing something for the common good, and the daily grounding… the resetting of emotions and release of nervous energy expelled just by getting dirt under their fingernails. In times like those, I am sure that gardening felt heavenly!
Anyone can do this…. Gardening.
All you need is Sunlight. Seeds. A container or two, or 12 (or a plot of land of any size). ….. And a desire to be part of the solution.
A time to heal.
A time to return to our roots.
If this post is calling to you, there are TONS of seed packets for sale at the feed stores. There are also half grown “teenager” plants if waiting is too much to bear.
Never gardened? Don’t let that stop you. You never know, you might pick up a new hobby you love while in this time of national time out.
The best growth comes during times of adversity…. Knowing that, our Great Nation should be due for a bountiful harvest. The Bible says it. This I know.
Garden on friends!