Chew on This: The Victory Garden

Victory Garden

by Nancy Siegel, Professor of Art History and Culinary History, Towson University


Chew on This: The Victory Garden


In times of stress and strife, many of us turn to the kitchen for solace and comfort. As we reach for recipes we’ve been meaning to try or return to our tried-and-trues, we are at times experiencing shortages in food stores for certain items: flour, yeast, tomato sauce, tortillas, beans, canned soup, etc… While this is a momentary setback for some, for others the lack of fresh foods or even access to food stores and markets is a constant reminder that food equity is of paramount importance. And as a national conversation about the food supply chain continues to make the news, be aware that this issue has historical precedent. During World Wars I and II efforts were made to limit food waste, purchase only what was needed, and ration meats and fats in order to feed the troops. Backyard gardens, wheatless and meatless meals, and eating more fruits and vegetables were encouraged. Advertising campaigns were designed specifically to bring this awareness to consumers and to the table. A wonderful array of food conservation posters from WWI and WWII were produced, disseminating these messages which remain poignant today. 



As well, Americans were encouraged to grow their own food. The “War” or “Liberty” gardens of the First World War became the “Victory” gardens of the 1940s. Planting gardens where they could, Americans were urged to produce more, consume less, and volunteer their time to help others. As we continue to isolate and quarantine in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, let us be ever-mindful of the ways in which we can help others. Shopping for neighbors, providing a meal for someone ill or at risk, sharing recipes, calling a friend, donating time and resources to food banks and favorite charities, ordering food from a local restaurant, planting a Victory garden, and yes—simply staying at home—all contribute to the health of our community. Until we can meet up once again at our favorite farmers market, be well, stay safe, wash your hands, and get into the kitchen!



May also happens to be National Salad month – which we like to celebrate here at TasteWise Kids! We believe that salad can be so much more than lettuce, so this month #TWKatHome will focus on our favorite greens and all of the different ways they can be used.

In honor of National Salad Month we are raising funds to supply salad kits to families experiencing food insecurity. If you have $15 to donate a fresh, healthy salad kit to a family in need, please give here.