Victory Gardens has also become a popular option for those looking to have access to fresh produce while cutting back on trips to the supermarket. At the start of a pandemic 73 percent of Americans bought less and more than one third ate less food. and more processed foods, according to C + R Research.
“A good productive garden provides an enormous amount of food,” says Dave Whitinger, executive director of the National Horticultural Association. – When you grow up. [vegetables] you don’t have to buy them in the store at home. ”
Novella Carpenter, associate professor of urban agriculture at the University of San Francisco and worker / owner of BioFuel Oasis, an urban farm store in Berkeley, California, has seen communities come together around gardening.
“There are a lot of free vegetable tables in the community,” she says. “Gardening makes you want to share.”
In addition to free tables, Carpenter noted an increase in crop swaps, with gardeners swapping seeds, root cuttings and vegetables from their backyards. This creates a sense of community, and activities help growers access fresh produce and add variety to their diets – all thanks to local growers.
Gardeners who grow more produce in Victory Gardens than their families need can donate the surplus. Hayden-Smith suggests calling local or regional food banks and church pantries for guidelines on donating fresh food. Carpenter is urging growers to start selling plants and exchanging crops to bring more fresh produce to local communities.
Greenfield has big plans for its garden this year. She has acquired additional seeds and plans to grow (and distribute) even more fresh produce this season – and encourages others to do the same. Several members of her local gardening group, who rose from 400 to 1,300 during the pandemic, agreed to “grow a number” and donate their produce to fight hunger.
“Planting vegetables in a small corner of your yard can determine whether someone in your area gets fresh produce or not,” she says. “We have had a lot of repeat visitors. [last year]and I like to think that several families in our area got a lot of fresh produce from our Victory Gardens. “