Freedom from Fear, Plant a Victory Garden

Victory GardenGranny Hat and Dad sat down two days ago to place an online Burpee Seeds order, they do this every spring.  They started with green beans and their first choice, Desperado Bush Beans were back ordered until April, so they went to their next favorite, Contender Bush Beans, sold out!  So, they tried the Blue Lake 47, also back ordered!  As panic began to rise, they turned to the corn page, Kandy Corn sold out, Illini Extra Sweet, back ordered!   Oh dear, well Granny has heard you can survive on pumpkins!  Nope, pumpkins all sold out!  The light dawned!  In response to fear, uncertain future and crisis, Americans are yet again planting Victory Gardens! Granny is too young to fully reminisce about the famous gardens of World War II but Dad’s parents were all too happy to take a walk down memory lane…….

Grandpa grew up in a farming family and lived out in the country in the Imperial Valley so he remembers his mom growing rhubarb for pies. They also had grapefruit and Sailor Dadorange trees. But he was sailing the South Pacific in the Navy and eating galley food while the Victory Gardens were in full bloom back in the states. He tells stories of banana “raisin” bread when mice got into the flour or grinding coffee for the officers breakfast with extra “animal protein” thrown in (or at least not removed)!

Grandma, on the other hand, was much younger during WWII and remembers her grandmother, Martha Cooper “Nana” turning her Fort Worth backyard into a Victory Garden. She had her gardeners dig up the yard and till it and then she got busy planting corn, potatoes, green beans, and peas.  Grandma was put to work shelling peas and she didn’t like that very much.  But she loved being out in the garden popping sweet cherry tomatoes off the vine.  Grandma had peach trees and Granny can imagine the hot Texas sun turning the fruit sweet and juicy.


Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard came up with the idea of Victory Gardens soon after Pearl Harbor, even though American farms already were producing enough to feed half the world. Groceries were needed to feed the troops overseas and with blackouts on the coasts, stores closed early, so Americans were encouraged to grow their own food.  If you didn’t have a yard and lived in the big city, there were community Victory Gardens, some of the most notable being at the Portland Zoo, Chicago’s Arlington Racetrack and a downtown parking lot in New Orleans.  Gardeners near Chicago’s Cook County Jail were allowed to grow cabbages, radishes and beans but corn was forbidden because it might offer would-be escapees a place to hide! In 1943, Americans planted 20.5 million Victory Gardens! Americans found new vegetables they never knew existed. Kohlrabi, Swiss chard and kale were discovered to be easy to grow with a long season and plenty of nutritional benefits. American housewives began to be more health conscious and went back to canning and preserving food.  Indeed, one of the goals of the government at the time was that there would be “the creation of a healthy citizenry on the home front”. (The Home Front: USA Time Life world War II series, 1978)  And by the way, the humble pumpkin (which Burpee is sold out of- Granny is still quite put out) kept Japan alive in World War I.  Granny still has perfectly good pumpkins sitting on her front porch from last November, talk about shelf life!)

Granny admires the response her forebears had in times of crisis.   When life as they knew it came to a grinding halt, they found another path, got tough, sewed their own clothes, cultivated their own food, and wrote songs like Blue Birds over the White Cliffs of Dover, As Time Goes By and Happy Days Are Here Again. Churches sang hymns with words like:

“His banner over us is love, our sword the Word of God;

We tread the road the saints above with shouts of triumph trod.

By faith they, like a whirlwind’s breath, swept on o’er every field,

The faith by which they conquered death is still our shining shield.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!

Oh, glorious victory, that overcomes the world.”  Ira D. Sankey, John H. Yates

Granny admits that the current health, political, and economic crisis is new, uncharted territory for this generation.  The responses she sees are similar though; get tough, find a new path, look with hope toward the future. But how can we face the future when there is so much uncertainty?  How do we get freedom from fear at a time like this?  Granny knows a bit about the current fear, her doctor son-in-law was very ill this past week and his tests for COVID 19 came back undetermined. There were days of uncertainty and despair over his high fever and other symptoms.  When he turned the corner and began to steadily improve, Granny remembered a favorite song from KLOVE,

Another In The Fire by Chris Davenport & Joel Houston, Hillsong

There’s a grace when the heart is under fire
Another way when the walls are closing in
And when I look at the space between
Where I used to be and this reckoning
I know I will never be alone

There was another in the fire
Standing next to me
There was another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
Of how I’ve been set free
There is a cross that bears the burden
Where another died for me

All my debt left for dead beneath the waters
I’m no longer a slave to my sin anymore
And should I fall in the space between
What remains of me and this reckoning
Either way I won’t bow
To the things of this world
And I know I will never be alone

There is another in the fire
Standing next to me
There is another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
What power set me free
There is a grave that holds no body
And now that power lives in me

And I can see the light in the darkness
As the darkness bows to Him
I can hear the roar in the heavens
As the space between wears thin
I can feel the ground shake beneath us
As the prison walls cave in
Nothing stands between us
Nothing stands between us

There is no other name
But the Name that is Jesus
He who was and still is
And will be through it all
So come what may in the space between
All the things unseen and this reckoning
I know I will never be alone

There’ll be another in the fire
Standing next to me
There’ll be another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
How good You’ve been to me
I’ll count the joy come every battle
‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be

Granny’s favorite Bible story is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, or as her Grandpa Lloyd used to say “Shadrach, Meshach and To Bed We Go after this story”!  She loves when the three men refuse to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image, she loves Shadrach standing up to the king with that fire blazing nearby and saying “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  BUT even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”     And then Granny can just picture the look on Nebuchadnezzar’s face when he “stood up in haste, asking ‘Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?  Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!’” Daniel 3:17, 18, 24, 25

Walmart Bibles


Yes, there is still another in the fire and that is why Granny can have freedom from fear.  A pastor friend from southern California posted this picture of the empty Bible shelves in the book section of Walmart last week.  Granny recommends we trade in fear of the world for the fear that is the beginning of wisdom.

Wise men (and women) still seek Him.


7 thoughts on “Freedom from Fear, Plant a Victory Garden”

  1. Why can I only like this post? LOVE!!! Victory gardens, the pictures! Oh and your grandpa saying “to-bed-we-go” …. just wonderful. What a poignant post: with these troubled times there is so much to be learned and practiced… so much opportunity. Thank you for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

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