Victory Gardens... and Chickens

Time to plant a Victory Garden

Modern Victory Garden

Australians, now is the time to plant a Victory Garden and build a chicken coop! No, it's not World War Two, although with the news of the day you'd be forgiven for wondering. But similarities between war on the home front and the current climate - from COVID-19 to the economic situation - make the Victory Garden campaign from the 1940s just as relevant today.

What are Victory Gardens?

During World War Two, drought and labour shortages had serious impacts on the food supply. The government responded by asking us to become more self-sufficient to help support the wartime economy. 

Hundreds of thousands of Australians, who were already doing it tough, mucked in. They started keeping chickens and growing vegetables in Victory Gardens. They even started veggie gardens on vacant blocks! 

Growing Victory Gardens was a key part of the war effort on the Australian home front.

Do you need a Victory Garden today?

Panic buying and economic shutdowns have highlighted the flaws in our modern food system. While Australia is not going to run out of food, food shortages due to supply chain issues and increased demand led to restrictions on certain grocery items. We might not actually be at risk, but the anxiety produced by bare shelves and limited staples is very real.

Becoming more self-sufficient by producing some of your own food is a great way to reduce this anxiety. You can reduce your grocery bill and the pressure on supermarkets at the same time. And knowing that you have the ingredients for your next meal in your own backyard goes a long way towards reducing anxiety and panic.

By planting a small vegetable garden and keeping a few backyard chickens, you can become more self-sufficient. It is immensely satisfying to produce your own food. It means that you know exactly where your food came from and what went into it. Because, after all, you are what you eat!

Fresh eggs are the most complete food you can produce at home

Fresh eggs are one of the most complete foods that we can produce at home. With no more effort than keeping any other pet, a few backyard chickens can provide eggs enough for the whole family.

Backyard chickens are less work than many pets. All they need is a suitable enclosure and high-quality food. In return, they will provide you with a reliable supply of fresh eggs. If you are looking for a pet, chickens are friendly and can provide hours of entertainment. They are less work than common pets like dogs and guinea pigs. Chickens are also a great addition to the backyard if you are growing your own vegetables. Gardeners call their manure “black gold” for a reason, and with fertilisers also selling out it is ideal to have your own, chemical-free supply.

If you’re at home self-isolating, now is the perfect time to prepare for chickens. You’ve got the time to build a cage and run. Fixing up a corner of the yard is a great school holidays project. Once your chickens are installed, sit back and enjoy your funny, feathered friends and fresh food supply!

If you are thinking of getting chickens for the first time, we have plenty of experience and advice to share. You might like to know:

Happy chicken keeping!

Rachael - Dine a Chook Australia