This is certainly not ‘new’ technology, but it seemed new and important at the time: World War II brought about shortages of everything and rationing. Few people today would believe that most families grew ‘Victory Gardens.’ Somehow by growing our own food, we helped the war effort. Chocolate candy went missing from the candy counters at the grocery stores and ice cream finally disappeared. They said it was being set aside for our soldiers, sailors and airmen.
Airmen in those days didn’t mean The Air Force but the air forces we had were a part of the US Army. So it was called, The Army Air Force. We had the United States Navy and a branch of it called The Marines. The navy ships carried the soldiers to far away places in the Pacific and sent their Marines ashore to take islands like Iwo Jima, Tarawa, New Guinea and Papua.
Gasoline was rationed as was motor oil and cooking oils. Most of the families fried food in animal fat called Lard but nobody got sick or developed cancer because we ate all that fat. We did not have vegetable oil like you have today. It was lard or nothing and the grease frying out of bacon made eggs fry better than modern skillet sprays.
But ordinary food was scarce in Gordon where I lived. There was no more ice cream and no chocolate candy. That was the food I missed the most. We could not grow ice cream or candy in the Victory Garden so we went without it. In the winter, after a snow storm had passed, mother would tell me to go outside and fill a large metal pan used to wash dishes in (we had no sinks but used large basins to wash dishes in) with clean snow. She would pour a little vanilla extract into the pan and store the snow around and the two of us ate all of it and claimed it was better than real ice cream.
I do remember that the stores had ice chests with lids one opened to see a large container of ice cream. All during the war the lids remained open and people didn’t have to pester the grocer by asking if they got any ice cream in.
Oh boy was it ever great to eat a chunk of real meat off the farm. Yum. Nothing like sugar cured ham or smoked meat. Bonnie and Milbert Ressler butchered once or twice each year and she made the best sugar cured ham in the world (my mouth is watering). As a little kid, I would ride my tricycle out into the country hoping to arrive in time for breakfast and a taste of that ham.Victory Garden Seeds.
To earn some prize or cash money I sold a box containing packages of vegetable garden seeds. People planted seeds and grew large gardens and in my small hamlet some families were better customers than others. The Tommy Rice family and his son-in-law, from Germany, Bill Lage, were my best seed customers. I sold Victory Garden Seeds each spring and instead of money, got a prize.
My best prize was a Roy Rogers Cap Pistol and Holster. I got a photo of me wearing them and a straw hat on my head. I look pretty big to be wearing things like that.
Lage’s always bought new seed every year and I usually sold almost all of the packages of seeds in the big shipping box. Mom used the seeds nobody wanted but for the most part, we saved our seeds from harvested crops from one year to the next. Mom always squashed tomatoes on newspapers on the porch and left the seed pulp to dry for next year. She also let onions go to seed and green beans and peas. We used those seeds the next year and did not have to buy seeds.