May 15, 2020

by Peter Henry

The Covid-19 outbreak has led to unprecedented layoffs, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and weeks, if not months, of home-quarantine for most everyone. Socially, economically, and psychologically, this is the worst crisis since the Depression and World War II: an unexpected and tumultuous turn of events that has gripped the entire planet.

During WW I and WW II, when America’s back was against the wall, millions of Americans stepped up and grew food. At that time, it helped keep American food supplies stable, gave neighborhoods a sense of pride, and united the country around a common mission: helping the war effort.

Today, America needs Victory Gardens more than ever. The entire food system is under strain from a massive shift in eating patterns and a shortage of workers. Wisconsin’s summer season, combined with concerns about the food supply and the fact that people are staying close to home, make this a ripe time to grow as much food as possible.

To lend a hand, Farm Table is collaborating with Dragonfly Gardens to re-establish Victory Gardens.

Beginners Welcome: Even if you have never gardened, or if you haven’t had your hands in the soil for a while now, planting a Victory Garden will get you outside and digging in the ground for the good of your family and community. Preparing the ground, establishing the young starts, nurturing the maturing plants, harvesting the fruits, cooking a garden-fresh meal–it’s all empowering and can serve as a powerful reminder of something practical we can do in service to the larger common good.

Weekly Video Tutorials: Over the course of the summer, our two gardening experts will record weekly tutorials from Farm Table’s Victory Garden. Those videos will premier each Thursday at 6 PM on Farm Table’s YouTube channel; viewers will be able to post their questions and our two instructors will respond.

Purchase your “Victory Garden in a Tray”: Dragonfly Garden staff members have grown, from seed, approximately 48 plants per tray. Each tray includes: cherry tomatoes; slicer tomatoes; bell peppers; basil; cucumber; zucchini; kale; cauliflower or broccoli; cabbage; cilantro or parsley; and winter squash.

Trays can be purchased for $30. Click here. Over 150 trays have already sold and remaining supplies are limited. (The last day to purchase a tray is Monday, May 18.)

Whether or not you purchase a Victory Garden tray, you can still sign up at that same link to be added to the list of those receiving notices of the weekly video garden tutorials.

Get your Tray: The Victory Garden trays of seedling plants will be picked up at Farm Table in downtown Amery (110 Keller Ave North, 54001). Pick up days and times are: May 21 from 11 to 1; May 22 and 23 from 11 to 3. You’ll be able to sign up for a time that works for you. Farm Table will be in touch with logistical instructions closer to the date.

It’s been a rough start to the growing season, and everyone is anxious to get outside. Join Dragonfly and Farm Table in jump-starting the Victory Gardens concept that worked so well for our ancestors: garden at home, share with the neighbors, and put “home-grown” food on the table.

Peter Henry co-founded Farm Table Foundation and owns Dragonfly Gardens.