Urban gardens have been tilled for different reasons through the years. My in-laws remember World War II era “victory gardens,” planted to keep pantries full when a trip to the market might be dangerous or farmed goods might not reliably make it to the market. This produce was then shared among the community. And that went for eggs, chickens and other livestock.
Nowadays, folks and foodies plant kitchen gardens that grow along the length of city plots. They espalier fruit trees to line back fences and harvest herbs in sunny, protected spots along south-facing walls. Some garden for the love of it, others farm for thrift, health or for ethical reasons that directly align with sustainability and environmental stewardship. I find my reasons for keeping a garden shift between all these. And over the last 20-odd years, gardening has become an integral part of each season, both symbolically and pragmatically.
Where we live, rosemary, parsley and tender perennials survive the temperate, misty Seattle winters. Plantings are protected from the wind in an area close to my kitchen so the rain (that can seem omnipresent), is just a little bit of a hassle. Well, sometimes it’s a huge hassle, but eating a fresh pea from the vine is worth any bad-hair day.
One of my favorite bloggers, Kate Beaton, found this wonderful video on war gardens. And now I share it with you.
The Wartime Kitchen Garden
I wish I could see all the episodes from these series!