Victory Gardens

Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany during World War I and World War II. They were used along with Rationing Stamps and Cards to reduce pressure on the public food supply. Besides indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens a part of daily life on the home front.

In March 1917, Charles Lathrop Pack organized the US National War Garden Commission and launched the war garden campaign. Food production had fallen dramatically during World War I, especially in Europe, where agricultural labor had been recruited into military service and remaining farms devastated by the conflict. Pack and others conceived the idea that the supply of food could be greatly increased without the use of land and manpower already engaged in agriculture, and without the significant use of transportation facilities needed for the war effort. The campaign promoted the cultivation of available private and public lands, resulting in over five million gardens in the USA[2] and foodstuff production exceeding $1.2 billion by the end of the war.

President Woodrow Wilson said that “Food will win the war.” To support the home garden effort, a United States School Garden Army was launched through the Bureau of Education, and funded by the War Department at Wilson’s direction.

In 1946, with the war over, many British residents did not plant victory gardens, in expectation of greater availability of food. However, shortages remained in the United Kingdom, and rationing remained in place for at least some food items until 1954.

Land at the centre of the Sutton Garden Suburb in Sutton, London was first put to use as a victory garden during World War II; before then it had been used as a recreation ground with tennis courts. The land continued to be used as allotments by local residents for more than 50 years until they were evicted by the then landowner in 1997. The land has since fallen into disuse.[13]

The Fenway Victory Gardens in the Back Bay Fens of Boston, Massachusetts and the Dowling Community Garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota remain active as the last surviving public examples from World War II. Most plots in the Fenway Victory Gardens now feature flowers instead of vegetables while the Dowling Community Garden retains its focus on vegetables.

Since the turn of the 21st century, interest in victory gardens has grown. A campaign promoting such gardens has sprung up in the form of new victory gardens in public spaces, victory garden websites and blogs, as well as petitions to renew a national campaign for the victory garden and to encourage the re-establishment of a victory garden on the White House lawn. In March 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama planted an 1,100-square-foot (100 m2) “Kitchen Garden” on the White House lawn, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s, to raise awareness about healthy food

Garden Advice Cyclamen


Today’s Cyclamen are hybrids of the Cyclamen persicum native to Greece and Syria. They are considered a low growing herb of 12” and are members of the Primrose Family. Their colorful, long lasting flowers and heart shaped leaves attractively veined with silver to varying degrees have made them very popular as centerpiece and gift plants. Well cared for plants will bloom from fall through spring, with the more heat tolerant miniature hybrids even going into the summer. In Europe, Cyclamen blossoms are even used as cut flowers and sold in bunches or as bouquets.

Cyclamen flowers may be single, double, fringed, bicolor, or even candystriped. Colors range from exquisitely pure white through all shades of pink, lavender, purple and red to dark wine. Some of the miniature strains are even delightfully scented. In addition, today’s hybrids can be maintained over a wide temperature range from just above freezing to a normal home temperature of 75 degrees with good performance.

Method Of Propagation

Commercially, Cyclamen are grown from seed which is sown in August through December for the following Christmas season sales, so it’s no overnight crop! The hypocotyls, or basal protion of the seedling, forms a hard, round tuber-like structure known as the corm. From the top of this, the leaves grow in a rosette manner. As the Cyclamen plants are transplanted to larger pots several times during their cropping cycle, the top of the corm is always left about 50% exposed. This planting technique coupled with either sub-irrigation and/or not watering over the crown of the plant help to prevent a disease known as “crown rot”.


Individual flowers as well as the blooming season will be extended if the plants can be kept cooler (50s and 60s) rather than warmer. Try to avoid “hot” places altogether. Provide part sun through full sun or the equivalent in artificial light to keep plants compact. Plants grown in insufficient light typically will stretch and become weak and the lower leaves will fade and yellow.


Cyclamen should be watered thoroughly when the soil looks and feels dry on the surface. Do not water over the crown or allow the plants to stand in water after the irrigation is complete. Plants that are either allowed to wilt for lack of water or kept moist and not allowed to get dry will also get a lot of yellow leaves. Pluck spent blooms from the plant.


Fertilize Cyclamens regularly with a houseplant food for blooming plants such as Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster.

Spring/Summer Care

As we go into spring, the south facing windows become too sunny and hot. Be sure to move the plant to an area that gets just 1/2 day sun.

Air Movement

Year-round, it is important to maintain good air movement around your Cyclamen plant. Stagnant, humid air promotes a soft stem rot disease known as botrytis. If this should happen, provide better air movement, lower humidity, and remove the diseased tissues. Spray the plant with a fungicide such as Bonide Funginil.


If your plant becomes overgrown and difficult to keep watered, you may repot it in a sterile, well-drained potting soil like Espoma Organic Potting Soil. Remember to leave the upper half of the corm exposed.


Cyclamen are usually relatively free of pests, but occasionally they can be attacked by aphids, spider mites, cyclamen mits, black vine weevil gurbs, or thrips. If this should occur use Bonide Mite-X.

Christmas Tree Fun Facts

Fun Facts

There are approximately 30-35 million live Christmas Trees sold in the United States every year.

-The average time to grow a standard 7-8 ft live Christmas tree is 7-10 years.

-There are a half billion Christmas trees growing on farms across the United States, all grown by farmers.

-There are Christmas tree farms in all 50 states.

-For every real tree harvested, 1-3 seedlings are planted to replace the tree cut.

-There are almost 350,000 acres in production for growing Christmas Trees in The United States, all preserving green space.

-There are close to 15,000 Christmas Tree Farms in the Untied States which employ over 100,000 people.

-The Dees’ Christmas Tree Farm is 250 acres in the State of Maine. One acre of Christmas trees provides the oxygen for 18 people per day.

-The Dees’ Christmas Tree Farm produces 90% Balsam Fir and 10% Frasier Fir.

-Growing Christmas trees provides a natural habitat for many forms of wildlife. On the Dees’ Farm in Maine we have numerous sightings of deer, black bear, porcupine, beaver, moose, chipmunks and other animals.

-In 1856 President Franklin Pierce was the first President to place a Christmas tree in the White House.

-President Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House Lawn in 1923

-93% of consumers recycle their live Christmas tree in community recycle programs, or mulch them for their backyards

-84% of live Christmas trees are purchased by consumers pre-cut in garden centers, stores or tree lots. 16% were cut your own.

-Christmas trees are tied up using rope or netting to protect them during shipment.

-Real Christmas trees are involved in less than one-tenth of one percent of residential fires and only when ignited by some external sources. (Real trees are safe)

-Recycled Christmas trees are often used as erosion barriers on beaches.

-Live Christmas trees do not take up space in landfills

-The first week in your home, a live Christmas tree will consume 1quart of water per day.

-The fresh live wreaths and garlands that The Dees’ produces are manufactured with greenery harvested off the farm inMaine. This greenery is cut off of trees specifically grown for the brush. These trees are never cut down and are used and harvested the same every year in similar fashion of how they get wool from animals.

(Fact sources: National Christmas Tree Association)

From the Christmas tree lot,