BELFAST — Since Belfast resident Elsa Mead started her “victory garden” over two months ago, she said she has noticed more raised bed gardens in people’s yards. The coronavirus has given people more time for gardening and provided local garden and hardware centers a business boost.
Victory gardens are rooted in World Wars I and II, when people started growing their own food to supplement the nation’s limited food supply and to lift people’s spirits during a time of uncertainty and economic hardship.
“It’s something to look forward, to have something beautiful to look at, to be involved with growing food, be able to share our harvest. That’s why we call it a victory garden,” Mead said.
She said she is not traditionally a gardener, but when her daughter, Stephanie Mead, and her boyfriend, Erich Winzer, came for a visit right before a coronavirus outbreak around their New York City neighborhood, the two decided to wait out the pandemic in Maine and spend their time planting a garden with Mead.
Stephanie and Winzer have an urban garden on the rooftop of their apartment building, where they grow much of their own food, they said. The couple had been looking for properties in upstate New York to have a little farm and workshop for their work of building sets and props for theaters and TV shows like “Sesame Street,” Stephanie said.