The author of the Maggie Hope Mystery series
writes about KBO, cocktails, code-breaking, and red lipstick.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Victory Gardens

UK Citizens were urged to plant their own Victory Gardens (or War Gardens) to add fruit and vegetables to their diet. Victory Gardens also saved on shipping costs and fuel.

After the U.S. joined the war in 1941, Victory Gardens became common in the States as well.

This past summer, in the shadow of the so-called Great Recession, First Lady Michelle Obama planted a "Victory Garden" on the South Lawn of the White House. It's the first vegetable garden on the White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt's during the World War II years

My family also planted a few things this summer. All right, in window boxes, but still. It wasn't inspired by the First Lady though, but by our young son, who wanted to grow pumpkins.

(Note: don't try growing pumpkins in window boxes. We did fine with pumpkin sprouts and even orange pumpkin flowers, but as the plants grew, they needed more and more water. And the soil of the window box, even with twice daily waterings, simply couldn't support them. Plus, the flowers need to be pollinated by bees; I'm not sure if bees can fly as high as our window boxes.)

RIP pumpkins.

We also planted fennel, again, because my son somehow got it into his head to plant fennel. I had no idea he even knew what fennel was, but I think he liked the picture on the seed packet. So far, so good, but I rather doubt that the kid who won't even eat corn or red peppers or carrots (foods other parents tell me their kids love) is going to eat fennel. But who knows? At least The Husband and I are looking forward to fennel.

We also tried to grow herbs. The chives did all right, but the cilantro took over everything else. The poor basil and oregano didn't have a chance.

Still, as I started to make a shopping list today for Spicy Sweet Potato Soup (which uses fresh cilantro), I had a moment of, "Hey, take that Union Markup (Union Market) and Whole Paycheck (Whole Foods). Screw you and your over-priced fresh herbs!"

I believe War-era Britons would be proud.


  1. your son likes finocchio (fennel) because he has the same exquisite taste as his parents, natch.

    If he's not interested in the final product, I think I can dig up Nonna's finocchio-and-orange-salad recipe for you. mmmm finocchio

    xox evay

  2. ok this is really petty, but my roommate and i went to the over-glorified trader joe's last night and discovered it's actually not as cheap as whole foods' "365" brand items, and obviously whole foods has a better variety with a shorter cue. it was disappointing!

    i know that has nothing to do with pumpkins--just thought i'd share....