My Grandmother from the south
Our past Generation had a wealth of information that could be more helpful to us than we realize. The generation I am writing about knew how to raise a family on food they grew themselves. They knew how to use their resources sparingly and to not waste. Many lived in a time before electricity ever made it to their homes. My mother's family used a bucket on a rope to pull water from a well when they needed water. Some hauled water from streams. Communication was by word of mouth, telegraph or mail. Transportation was on foot, horse, wagon and some by cars and trucks.
We still have many of this generation with us, they are our Great Grandparents, Grandparents, older Aunts and Uncles and elderly neighbors. They are quickly leaving us and with their departure, mentally or physically, we are losing a wealth of information.
We should listen to them when they talk about the "Old Times” and ask questions. This generation should be cherished.
My Parents and Grandparents remembered World War I and World War II. Canned foods were rationed because the war department had to feed the soldiers fighting overseas. I was told about ration cards and stamps to buy food. Many other supplies were in demand for the war and they did without things to help fight the war.
The U S government made a request for people to grow their own food and families started doing their part planting gardens anywhere they could put them. These gardens were named "Victory Gardens”. City dwellers remember growing vegetables on their apartment roof tops, back yards and anywhere they could put a garden. Rural areas normally had gardens and usually large ones but even these families expanded helping out their neighbors.
Our neighbor Naomi told me a story about how her mother fed their family during the great depression. They had a large family and times were very difficult. A relative gave her mother a pressure canner and neighbors would bring food for her to can for their families, in return she was given a portion of the food and this is how Naomi’s mother fed her family.
I think about how much waste we are producing and how much we are taking and not putting back. Times are very unsettled, our environment is suffering. Victory Gardens must come back because if we do not learn to grow our own food and pass on our knowledge, our Children and Grandchildren may suffer great consequences.
These are last years pictures of our gardening
Each year we learn a little more about growing vegetables in our small shaded back yard. This year we added eggplant to our list of what we grow and we look forward to each one we recieve from our small containers.
Neither of us really liked eggplant until we found that if you simply slice it in half, drizzle a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper and bake it in the toaster oven adding a small amount of butter the last five minutes, it tastes very good.
We find any space available and plant vegetables This was early spring.
We found that one of the vegetables we would like to grow will not grow well in our yard and that is squash. We will have to continue to buy our squash so we go to our local farmers market to purchase our squash and help support our local farmers.
Our yard is too small and shady to support the larger leaf and viney vegetables. However, the green beans do extremely well. They are growing and producing very well. Cucumbers do well in whiskey barrels with fence wire around them to climb up and around.