We have a global pandemic going on with Coronavirus, also known as Covid 19 with grocery store shelves empty in the United States of America. We have had customers ask us about growing a victory garden in this very strange year of 2020. Now it is January of 2021 and that is still going on. We are getting a lot of orders and we are receiving more each day and it is still winter!
It started getting bad in March of 2020. First, a lot of things like scheduled trips got canceled and schools closed. Then you couldn't go to church or to the movies or eat in restaurants. But you could go to Walmart and to grocery stores without a mask. Then a few months later, you had to wear masks to all of these places. Now you still do (January 2021).
My wife would go to the grocery store and report that many shelves were empty and there was no toilet paper, antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, or Clorox Wipes. People were getting sick and spreading it, causing an overflow of people panicking and going to the hospital. No one was allowed to go into the hospital with the sick person and the sick people could not have any visitors at all.
Soon, you had to have a mask on to go anywhere so I stayed home or at work a lot.
While many non-essential businesses closed in the spring of 2020, our essential business stayed open. Our orders shot through the roof as people began to order our seeds to grow their own food, just like people used to do back in World War II when they would grow a victory garden for their own use as well as to help feed our military people. This was when sugar, nylon stockings and gasoline were rationed out to families using cards. It was a rough time back in the 1917s and the 1940s.
In those early days of 2020, Juanita and I would leave the farm at 6am to go into our office/store in San Antonio. We would leave San Antonio around 8pm every night, almost always seven days a week. It was exhausting but we were doing something important--helping fellow Americans by providing seeds so they could grow their own food.
Now, fast forward to 2021 and once again, thousands of families are planting a victory garden, not to help out troops, but to feed themselves and their friends because so little in the way of groceries was sitting on the shelves last year. Hopefully, it does not get as bad as it did in 2020, but we just don't know what will happen now that we have a different administration in the White House.
Victory Garden History
Where did the term "victory garden" come from? I touched on it above but here is more information.
Today we know so much more about home gardening, square foot gardening and organic gardening. People have been able to take small plots of land, put in raised garden beds and grow tons of food.
This guy claims to be the inventor of square foot gardening. Maybe he is. I am not going to try to re-invent all the good information that is out there on gardening. But check him out at square foot gardening.
There are so many ways to garden especially if you use raised beds like we do.
As you read our website, you will see some of the raised beds and greenhouses we have built.
My 2020 greenhouse is 100 feet long. I ran electrical cords and the 3/4 inch pipe was collapsing. We finally rebuilt it using 1 1/4 inch pipe. We finished the new greenhouse in December 2020. It is tall and looks like a high tunnel. There is so much room in it now.
Before you begin, you will want to sit down and plan. Plan on how much food you want and what goals you are trying to accomplish. Plan on what you want to grow and how many plants you want to grow. Grow extra in case of bugs and other damage. Plan on where you will grow your victory garden. Plan whether you will use raised beds or if you will plant everything straight in the ground, or if you will use a combination of both like we do on our farm.
There are all kinds of professional resources out there on how to do this. Taking a few hours to plan things out will save a lot of time and money down the road.
Contrary to what you may hear, it will require hard work. It will require money. You will spend more than you would in the store because your garden will be labor intensive. Everything will be done by hand. But you will have the satisfaction of growing your own and being self sufficient. Of course, you will use it again for the next growing season and if you plan and build things right, they will last for many growing seasons to come.
Then there is canning what you have grown to store for future use. We hope to start having a lot of pages on this. We have been working hard to get our commercial kitchen in. We now have a beautiful commercial kitchen that was completed in November.
We will be offering classes on how to can. The idea is you will get to go out and pick produce yourself. Wash it. Process it and then can it. It is hard but rewarding work.
In a couple of years we also hope to have fruits to make preserves. We did not plan accordingly and so a lot of our trees have succumbed to cold temperatures, lack of water and red ants. Those red ants can strip a tree down in one night.
We are really excited about the future.