The concept of how to build a victory garden is not only interesting because of the historical circumstances from which it sprung up, but also because it can be applied in our present situation.
I sincerely believe that victory gardens are the perfect panacea for the uncertain times as well as an ailing global economy. Grocery stores may not always have some of the tastiest tomatoes either.
Resurgence here would boost supplies of vegetables, fruits, and herbs and bolster physical, mental and spiritual well being, wouldn’t you agree?
During the World Wars I and World Wars II era, the most important thing to everyone at the battlefront and those at the home front was the constant availability of food supplies.
Part of the war effort was to supplement food and victory gardens fit the bill.
Public food supplies were stretched to their limits and front line troops were in dire difficulties.
It was a dilemma because the front line soldiers were bereft of food supplies.
The home front also suffered from similar deprivations.
It became clear that a sustained supply of foodstuff had to flow from other sources.
Governments had reached their limit and it was now the private sector to the rescue. The ordinary people had a major role to play in the rescue of their countries.
During the battles, national governments of both foe and allied armies alike acted independently to address the food shortages as part of the war effort.
It was from all this and of chronic food shortage that the almost miraculous idea of victory gardens also known as food vegetable gardens for defense sprang into existence.
It all began during World War I, when victory gardens sprung into existence in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, and Australia, and was to resurface later again in World War II.
The concept of victory gardens also known as food gardens for defense started in Canada in 1917.
It was here that all residents of every city, town, and village were urged to make space available in their backyard for the planting of vegetables for their own use and during times of conflict. Grocery stores now included your backyard & garden centers.
Similar measures were adopted in the United States which suffered from lack of farm laborers due to enlistments in the army. The national effort focused on training in agriculture & growing food, gardening to help with food shortages.
Food rationing in Australia and the UK plagued the two countries and were forced to adopt similar austerity measures.
Growing a victory garden full of vegetables, fruits and herbs were solidified by world war II. It is estimated that 420 million victory gardens were grow during this period.
No matter what project you may have in mind, proper planning and designing of your venture is one way to ultimate success.
You can plan to accommodate a victory garden using a combination of these types:
Check out our guide on container gardening here.
We will focus on a traditional or raised bed approach for our victory garden, but don't let that stop you even if you only have window boxes.
Keep in mind that a raised bed will require soil from a garden center or local garden hardware store.
Planning always involves numbers and the magic number this time is a family of 5 and the ideal area that will accommodate the needs of a 5 member family is a 40'x 61’ foot garden.
This is your garden area which needs to be cleaned and made level before tilling or building your raised bed.
Follow these basic steps to get started:
The easiest and most suitable layout for your garden should follow traditional gardening where rows are the norm. They are easy to configure and easier to manage given the variety of veggies, fruits, and herbs you’ll be growing.
Mark out the rows keeping in mind the size of plants. Note that the row method can be varied with the use of other techniques such as using pots and containers positioned at strategic places in your garden have also been successful.
Nevertheless, it is not enough just to have the rows all marked out because it’s also important to know how to space your plants in their rows so that they have sufficient space for inducing comfortable growth.
This can be difficult for a new beginner at gardening so you should use the distances applied between the seedling plants as shown in the gardening plan.
If you need help with when to plant, consult the planting times of the same plan and you’ll know when to plant
Designing your own victory garden can be a very rewarding task. Yet it is vital that you should give considerable thought during the planning stage.
There are limitless possibilities and gardens that can be designed. They are formed with precision, beauty, and charm.
You can build them anywhere such as on the rooftop, backyard, front yard, patio or open ground.
These victory gardens are built not only for a steady supply of vegetables, fruits, and herbs but are also meant to beautify your spatially restricted surroundings.
You will be provided with a garden packed with food-producing plants and an extremely attractive ecological landscape that will mesmerize your friends and neighbors with their productivity and elegance.
You can feast your eyes on the front yard of your home where the landscape has been transformed from a dull, ordinary and unexciting view to a robust, dynamic and absolutely exciting.
Whether you want a facelift to your backyard space, this can also be personalized to suit your taste and to produce abundance.
Your own patio can be turned into a miniature resting and relaxing place that exudes myriad colors around you.
Designing a garden should also include optimizing your soil health. This could mean having structures such as compost piles or worm composting bins close by.
You also need to know what amendments that you may need to procure to build up your soil. Some of the common amendments include:
This list is not exhaustive, but it is what some new gardens patches may need to get started on a smaller scale. Keep in mind the access to water as well when you are designing your victory garden.
This list was put together with finding vegetables that are both easy to grow and have the maximum calories in the space needed to grow them.
These types of vegetables are also easy to store in your food pantries and save seeds for each year.
We included some notes on why these are good picks.
Grab your seed packets to start planting.
This is also a critical time for your success and you need to be tuned in with your surroundings before you can actually dive in a do your planting.
Check out our resource guide below for more help on specific topics.
As can be seen, success in gardening depends on a cluster of interacting factors. You can quickly grow a garden should the need arise.
These factors exist in nature itself, in the atmosphere, the soil and in man himself. In order to satisfy his culinary appetite, he searched for and discovered how to grow a victory garden for growing vegetables, fruits and herbs.
This gardening revolution survived two World Wars and became an indelible legacy that will survive well into the future.
All the types of beets originally came from the Middle East where they came under the plough in the 8th century BC mainly for medicinal purposes.
French chefs subsequently saw its cuisine potential and used them as a side dish. From that time the beet gained a permanent place on the menu.
This list of the best beets to grow will get you some ideas of the different ones to plant in your garden.
When you hear the name of strawberries,you think of a reddish, triangular or roundish fruit that you hold between two fingers, drop in your mouth and savor its delicious and tangy taste. We get so engrossed in eating it we usually don’t bother to ask how long do strawberries last.
Strawberries are a delicate fruit that does not last forever.
Blueberries are touted as being one of the wonder fruits of our times, packed with vitamins C and K and antioxidants for vibrant health, blueberries are so vital we should really be asking ourselves, “How Long Do Blueberries Last”.
Blueberries shelf life has many factors that come into play.
Pickles are a favorite snack that we love to have in our homes. You might be curious as ask just how long do pickles last.
Our ancestors did not have the luxury of having a refrigerator or freezer to store all of their harvest.
If you garden and grow cucumbers..you might know that cucumbers come out like gangbusters once they start growing.
Tomatoes are technically a fruit, one that does not have an indefinite shelf life. You might be wondering just how long do tomatoes last.
We answer all those questions, plus give you some of the best tips to store & prepare them to last longer. Proper techniques will really help when you are trying to preserve tomatoes.
Tomato’s shelf life is really dependant on your careful preparation and shelf storage practices.
Oxygen, moisture, temperature and light are typically the 4 common spoilers with any food. Keep all of these limited and you will make them last longer.
Lemons are a fruit that is best serve chilled in a glass if you ask me. You might be asking question of how long do lemons last, so you can best store them.
We have all the details, plus a way to preserve them Morroccan style. Lemons shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it.
Apples' shelf life is decided by several variables, as there is usually no specific date for its sale, and the only date you go by is the day you purchased or picked them. It still begs the question of how long do apples last.
Sweet Potatoes are a root vegetable that does not last forever. It still begs the question of how long do sweet potatoes last.
Sweet Potatoes’s shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it.
To engage in an avocado spending spree and buy as many as you want is not an issue, it’s the task of preserving them that poses challenges and we need to ask the question, How long do avocados last?
Avocados shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it.
Oranges are a fruit that you don’t need to eat right away after harvesting. Many still question of how long do oranges last because you don’t want them to go to waste.
Oranges shelf life is dependant on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it.
Onions are a root vegetable that does not last forever. It still begs the question of how long do onions last.
Onions’s shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it.
At first glance, the question of, "Can you grow corn in a pot" raises a challenge to people like me.
You see I never grew up in the bread basket section of the US. My experience as a city dweller limited some of my capabilities to plant corn.
This gave me a unique outlook, so I embarked on experimenting with this myself
Do carrots need full sun is a question that many seem to ponder.
Yes, they do because they are a winter crop, and they need as much sun as they can get.
Growing a few may seem difficult, but with just a little huff and puff, you can grow plenty for months of storage.
Adequate knowledge is needed for starting seeds indoors. The more you know or are able to apply to your gardening, the best your plants turn out at the end of the day.
Like you, when I just started indoor seed starting, I also had a lot of questions to ask, like “when do I put my seedlings under light” or “how far my seeds should be from the LED”. Continue reading
Despite looking brittle and dry, vegetable seeds may, in fact, be very much alive and carrying the embryo of what will in the future grow to be a full-sized plant.
Many vegetable seeds have the ability to stay viable for years. However, some, including onions seeds, deteriorate in less than a yearContinue reading
Paper towel germination seems like an easy method to start your seeds.
Is it the best option for germinating seeds though?
Why germinate your seeds in the first place?
If these are the questions you are wondering about, then read on to find out the answers!Continue reading
Carrots are so tasty when you grow them yourself or if they are fresh to the market. You can take certain precautions when you store carrots in order for them to maintain their taste and nutritional value.
Even Bugs Bunny took care of his carrots to make them last longer, or maybe he just ate them quickly.
You will learn the shelf life of carrots, plus some tips on how to make carrots last longer.
Potatoes are such a good crop that can last well into the winter should you take the proper precautions with storage.
They are very nutritious and easy to cook.
Its no wonder why Americans love their spuds. Everything from french fries to baked potatoes.
You will learn the shelf life of potatoes, plus some tips on how to make potatoes last longer.
The shelf life of potatoes depends on the different storage methods that you follow.
Potatoes that are freshly harvested will last for 4 weeks in the fridge. Cooked ones will last for approximately 3-5 days in the fridge.
Frozen potatoes will last for 2-12 months in the freezer depending on your preparation techniques.
There is more to just placing potatoes in your pantry. We will explore the many different ways to extend how long potatoes last.
Our suggestions are based on the premise that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.
As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is spoiled.
Let’s delve into the 7 tips to save your potatoes from spoiling too early.
You can also find some tips about the shelf life of sweet potatoes as there is some difference. Check it out here.
At room temperature – around 70 degrees Fahrenheit – potatoes can last for 1-2 weeks if properly stored.
Storing potatoes at room temperature is optimal since it’s more convenient than refrigeration.
Ideally, you should ensure a storage temperature of 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is warmer than in a fridge but cooler than room temperature.
In a pantry with such temperatures, potatoes can last 2-3 months.
Some potato varieties last longer than others. In particular:
Among potato varieties that are best for long-term storage are:
In a pantry with such temperatures, potatoes can last 2-3 months. #preservation #foodstorage #prepper
When refrigerated, potatoes can last for approximately 3-4 weeks.
However, storing whole raw potatoes in a refrigerator is not ideal since they can develop a sweet taste and get dark when cooked.
Only store raw potatoes in a refrigerator if your pantry space is filled or is too hot.
Cut raw potatoes shouldn’t be left in the refrigerator for too long – use them within 24 hours.
Well, if you are cutting potatoes, you probably are going to do something with them soon anyway.
Potatoes don’t freeze well. At freezing temperatures, the water inside the potatoes forms crystals that break down the vegetable’s cell structures.
This makes potatoes mushy and inedible when defrosted. And yeah, the sweetening issues are still present with freezing.
It is ideal to cut them into french fries or wedges and fry them partially. This helps to cook out the water content and makes for better freezing.
Generally, these partially cooked potatoes will last for 2-3 months in the freezer before they lose their flavor.
When cooked, potatoes can be stored refrigerated or frozen.
When refrigerated, cooked potatoes last 3-5 days. In a freezer, you could get 10-12 months out of your cooked potatoes.
To be more precise, potatoes retain their best flavor during 10-12 months if frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
They will stay edible thereafter, but they may not retain their flavor properties.
The shelf lifetimes mentioned above can be achieved only in proper storage conditions.
With that being said, let’s find out how to properly store potatoes.
We’ll go over storing both raw and cooked potatoes.
No matter where you store the potatoes, ensure that it satisfies the requirements we mentioned above.
Also, do not store raw potatoes in a freezer or refrigerator – we’ve said earlier that potatoes can get sweet if stored at low temperatures.
Storage rules for homegrown potatoes are a little bit different. Potatoes bought from the store have likely been properly processed.
Needless to say, when growing potatoes yourself, you need to take all steps to ensure that your potatoes are safe and edible yourself.
First, you need to let your potatoes cure. Cured potatoes have thicker skins and thus longer shelf life.
Here’s how to cure potatoes:
If you are growing your own potatoes, you will need to be a little more careful with storage.
Potatoes bought from the store are mostly sprayed with growth inhibitors that slow down sprouting. Unless you do the same, you will have to deal with sprouts.
Don’t store too many potatoes – you only want to store as many as you will be able to use during the storage period. Potatoes may sprout in a few months after being harvested even in storage.
Sprouted potatoes are safe to eat once you remove the sprouts and the eyes.
The potato will begin to shrivel as starch is converted to sugar to feed the new potato growing from the sprouts if you let them sit for a long time.
With that being said, you may use sprouted potatoes to your advantage by just planting them in your garden.
Cooked potatoes should be stored in airtight containers.
Choose resealable plastic bags designed for food storage. Sealed plastic bags do not allow bacteria to grow or odors to form in potatoes.
Before storing cooked potatoes, make sure that they’ve cooled down. Hot potatoes may raise the temperature inside the fridge, which may place other food in the temperature danger zone.
As mentioned earlier, cooked potatoes last 3-5 days in the fridge and 10-12 months in the freezer.
Potatoes eventually go bad even if stored in perfect conditions. Fortunately, it’s rather easy to spot potatoes that have fallen victims to spoilage.
Among the telltale signs of spoiled potatoes are:
Freezing may be the way to go if you are looking for a long-term storage solution. #potatoes #prepper #SHTF
Freezing may be the way to go if you are looking for a long-term storage solution.
You can freeze potatoes either cooked or blanched, but it is more difficult to freeze them raw due to their high water content.
Storage in a freeze-safe airtight bag may help to make storing blanched ones easier.
Unless you have a very specific reason not to cook your potatoes before freezing, you should at least blanch them.
To cook and freeze potatoes, follow these steps:
Cooked potatoes need to be stored in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. The process is the same as outlined in the freezing section.
You may choose to refrigerate or freeze your potatoes, but remember that when refrigerated, the cooked ones last much shorter than when frozen – 3-5 days versus 10-12 months.
You can opt for drying your potatoes if you don’t have enough space in your freezer refrigerator.
To dry them, follow the steps below.
We are going to overview drying potatoes in a food dehydrator:
You can rehydrate the potatoes by soaking them in water for 15 minutes & cook them as you would normally.
This method involves utilizing an acidic liquid like vinegar to add flavor and possibly help extend its shelf life. Most pickling liquid also includes the usage of salt or sugar to help to brine them.
The pickling recipes you may find to preserve potatoes will help to make them last a little longer in the fridge.
Pickled potatoes will last about 7-10 days in the fridge.
There are 2 methods of canning that we must differentiate. There is the water bath canning and there is pressure cooking canning. Potatoes require the pressure cooking canning method.
Pressure cooking canning methods will ensure that the temperature it is processed or boiled in is well above the temperature to kill off any bacterial spores that can cause botulism. The temperature in a pressure cooker is 250°F or more.
Water bath canning will never reach this temperature, so is not recommended to process potatoes. Botulism spores can actually survive normal boiling temperatures so are not quite killed off using this method.
The best guide that we use for canning and pickling is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. You can find this book here.
Keep in mind that the information that we provide here is based on recommendations from the FDA, our own observations, and the data from other sources such as the Ball guide we mentioned above.
Please do your own due diligence in determining your own set of guidelines.
This information provided is at your own risk. Use your best judgment. We did our best to present you with the best information we had available at the time of this writing.
The shelf lifetimes are based on the following conditions of your storage area:
Check out our guide on ways of preserving food for more information on some of the techniques.
Mushrooms are a delicious vegetable that does not last forever in storage. Unfortunately, mother nature did not put a best by date, sell-by date, or use by date stamped on the tasty buttons & she is not going to tell you just how long do mushrooms last.
You will learn about the shelf life of mushrooms, plus some tips on how to make them last longer.