National: Victory Gardens For Fun And Profit

It’s a scant 48 hours (give or take) until we all sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, and we for one are kind of tired of reading about it. Instead, we’re thinking of spring.

No, seriously. For a while now (like, years) we’ve been thinking that it’s high time we took advantage of the outdoor space that’s attached to our apartment, and we’ve got a mind to use this long weekend to set up a garden. We have a decent-sized terrace that gets great sunlight — it faces southwest and is hardly ever in shadow — and it’s just completely criminal that we haven’t yet channeled our Inner Alice Waters and done something productive with the matter.

Enter War Vegetable Gardening and the Home Storage of Vegetables, a 1918 publication of the National War Garden Commission, and helpfully scanned for all to see on Google Books. Though it’s nearly a century old, the book is ideally relevant to today’s prevailing food trends, melding together the frugality of That Darn Economy with the holier-than-thou gastro-chic of locavorism. Plus it turns out that autumn is the ideal time to start a garden! (Never mind that, for us, the first frost has already happened. Pish posh.)

For a slightly more contemporary reference, we’re planning to turn to McGee and Stuckey’s Bountiful Container, a guide to container gardening (as opposed to growing stuff in the actual ground) that comes with the highest recommendation possible — our housemate’s mom’s. We’re thinking we’ll start easy — cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, and — for the sheer surreality of seeing it waving over a third-floor balcony — a few stalks of corn. We’re also planning to buy a pair of overalls which we will ostentatiously swoon around the garden supply store while wearing.

If all goes well, by next Thanksgiving we’ll have an actual bounty to be thankful for, and won’t have to make up some crap about being grateful for good health and family.

After the jump, some scans from War Vegetable Gardening.

War Vegetable Gardening [Google Books, via]
The Bountiful Container [Amazon]

[Photo: What we hope our balcony will resemble, via dawn_perry’s Flickr]

National: Victory Gardens For Fun And Profit