On the home front, during the war time days of World Wars I and II, victory gardens became a popular way of supporting the war effort. Their goal was to grow additional fruits and vegetables to support a food system strained because of war. Victory gardens are no longer used to fight wars, but similar gardens are being used for similar reasons. That’s because one local organization is actually encouraging people to begin growing fruits and vegetables to be donated to help fight hunger.
Recently, homegrown vegetable gardens have become increasingly popular, and this summer Philabundance is running a program that embraces both this rise in popularity as well as the air of history such a gardening program has. The program is called “Share the Harvest” and is based on the Victory Garden concept. The program serves to combat the hardships associated with making fresh produce available for those who don’t have the financial means to access it themselves.
Collection of donations of fresh produce takes place across Southeastern Pennsylvania beginning every Saturday from July 7 through September 22 (details below). If you haven’t already started growing vegetables yet this year, there is still time. Although you won’t have time to dig a brand new, in-ground, victory garden sized, vegetable garden because we are already into the growing season, there’s fortunately a much simpler solution- container gardening.
Container gardening is great for people who don’t have the time or space to dig a large in-ground vegetable garden because containers can be placed anywhere (patio, balcony, window sill etc.). It is also great for anyone that decides to start growing vegetables farther into the growing season. This guide from Joseph G. Masabni, Assistant Professor and Extension Horticulturist at The Texas A&M System, has everything you need to know regarding vegetable container gardening.
The guide discusses selecting and planting seeds, however given the time that has passed in the growing season already, seeds are not the best option. Instead, opt to use "transplantable" fruit and vegetable plants that have already started growing in greenhouses and garden centers. These can be purchased and easily transplanted into larger, more permanent containers. Such plants can be purchased from local gardening centers, or online from a multitude of stores.
The size of your “modern day victory garden” doesn’t matter. Rather, it’s what comes from the few plants you might start growing in containers that does. Any amount of fresh produce donated to the “Share the Harvest Program” is helping fight hunger and those that are less fortunate access, healthy, fresh produce.
Share the Harvest Details:
-Collection is every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. till noon from July 7th- Sept. 23rd (excluding September 1).
-Deleware County drop-off sites include Rose Tree Park and Linvilla Orchards.
To learn more or to volunteer at a drop-off site, visit http://www.philabundance.org/2012/03/21/share-the-harvest-2012/