JEFFERSON-During the two world wars, Victory Gardens became a popular act of patriotic support in the United States as they helped reduce pressure on the public food supply.
These token acts of civic duty were also viewed as a morale booster as the nation’s brave troops stormed foreign beaches to liberate people they’ve never met.
Today, the Museum of Ashe County History is trying to recreate those gardens that best exemplified the countless contributions that Americans and British subjects made during the Allies’ finest hour.
Through the hard work and management of the Ashe County Cooperative Extension, these raised garden beds will educate visitors on the sacrifices made by the nation in the face of unimagined evil and tyranny. The purpose of the gardens, however, is two-fold.
“It was kind of serendipitous,” said Travis Birdsell, of Cooperative Extension, on how the gardens came to fruition. “We were both thinking along those same line in terms of a garden. The (museum) approached the cooperative extension about a Victory Garden and that fit in line with our thinking of working towards a community garden, as well.”
Birdsell is hopeful the gardens will teach history buffs about sustainable living and the advantages of fresh produce.
“We are hoping to raise awareness about the opportunities to raise food in alternative avenues outside the avenues of planting a garden in the ground,” said Birdsell. “If you’re space limited or don’t have the equipment to plant a garden in the ground or the labor resources, raised bed gardening is an alternative. We also plan on having programs at the Victory Gardens on raised bed gardening and other aspects of gardening as well.”
Along with the placement of a culinary herb garden in the center, the raised beds will also feature strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, kale, peppers, tomatoes, egg plants, summer squash and snap peas.
To better educate the community on raised bed gardening, the cooperative extension will host a class on the subject at the museum at 9 a.m. on Aug. 2.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.