I was watching the PBS show Victory Garden today, and I was reminded of how much I love the spirit behind the idea. For those who aren't familiar with the history of victory gardens, they originated during WWII. Most of the public food supply was going to soldiers overseas, so the citizens at home in the US and Great Britain experienced food shortages. To combat this, there was a campaign to encourage people to grow food in their back yards and in public spaces like abandoned lots. Victory gardens were seen as a way to contribute to the war effort without going over to fight yourself.
Even though the presence of our soldiers in Iraq does not contribute to the current high food prices (at least I don't think so), I still think of growing my own veggies as an almost patriotic act. The money that I would have spent on vegetables can go to other items and stimulate the economy. Solving our personal food shortage myself means that we are one less family going to a food bank or applying for food stamps. It is my way of scoring a personal victory for my family.
There is also the DIY aspect of growing my own food that I love. There are very few ways left in modern society to improve your circumstances via sweat equity. A garden is one of them, and thinking of it as a victory garden reconnects me to that history of women who kept their families going through hard work alone.