Cultivating History and a Garden

Posted on April 29, 2020

by Rachel S

Does anyone remember the show The Victory Garden? When I was a kid, there was a lot of PBS on in my house, including The French Chef, This Old House, Wild America, etc. One show had a particular theme song that resonates with childhood afternoon memories. That show was called The Victory Garden, and it seemed like it was on all the time.

I never really watched, as it was about people keeping gardens, and that is boring to a kid very busy with her dollhouse and neighborhood friends. I also never understood what the term meant until I was older and became fascinated by 20th century history and the at-home war efforts of Americans during WWII.

Recently I ran across this New York Times article about the resurgence of Victory Gardens during the worldwide pandemic that we now call “life.” Victory Gardens were common in the US and other countries during WWI. They were brought back in fashion during WWII, when rationing became a way of life.

It makes sense. Even if there isn’t a pressing food shortage, keeping a self-sustaining garden certainly can’t hurt. It could potentially cut down on trips to the grocery store for fresh produce, not to mention save money. I decided to put some effort into my garden this year and include some additional vegetables. Wish me luck.

My usual method of gardening involves planting various seeds and hoping something grows. My involvement is limited between those two events, and yet I am annually disappointed when I do not reap a large harvest.

Another confession I have to make is that I have never really been much of a hoopla user until recently. I am always on the hunt for classic films or movies that I somehow missed along the way and have found hoopla to be an excellent source. But that’s not all! Hoopla also has a nice collection of eBooks, including some nice resources for the novice (read: lazy) gardener, like me.

If you decide to do a little gardening this year, I encourage you to share your victories (pun intended) with Toledo Lucas County Public Library by tagging us on social media Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #toledovictorygarden.

Hoopla Reads for Prospective Gardeners

Potatoes on Rooftops, by Hadley Dyer

This useful overview explains how farming in the city is both enjoyable and important for the planet.

Eat Your Greens, by David Kennedy

Eat Your Greens describes how individuals can take greater involvement in health and food security with leafy vegetables.

Grow Your Own Cake, by Holly Farrell and Jason Ingram

Grow Your Own Cake describes the process of turning various produce at home into delicious cakes.

From Seed To Skillet, by Susan Heeger and Jimmy Williams

A guide of useful tips on growing and preparing healthy meals with a backyard vegetable garden.

Gardening eBooks Available Through OverDrive

Cover of Container Vegetable Gardening

Container Vegetable Gardeningin Catalog

By Liz Dobbs

Readers can develop their own patio garden of fruits, vegetables and herbs. There are 35 illustrated, easy-to-follow projects.

Cover of Grow Cook Eat

Grow Cook Eatin Catalog

By Willi Galloway

Useful instruction on growing many vegetables and herbs, with additional advice on storage and preparation.

Cover of Square Foot Gardening with Kids

Square Foot Gardening with Kidsin Catalog

By Mel Bartholomew

This book explains how gardeners of all ages can grow vegetables at home.

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