Starting with the World War I, the U.S. government was encouraging Americans to grow their own food to help relieve shortages. Originally known as the war garden movement, these so-called “victory gardens” made a reappearance in the 1940s during World War II.
And the idea of growing your own food is still popular — so popular, in fact, that Oregon State University has seen online enrollment for their Master Gardener Short Course Series jump by nearly a thousandfold.
“In a normal year, we might get 20 to 30 folks who will enroll in one of those short courses,” said Gail Langellotto, the program’s statewide coordinator and a horticulture professor at OSU. “But this year we have over 29,000 who registered for our vegetable gardening course alone.”