Start Your Spring Victory Garden

From backyards, balconies, and community plots, the resurgence of the victory garden is taking place across the U.S.. Born out of necessity during times of war, Americans are turning to their gardens to feed their families on an increasingly limited grocery budget. We are well into Spring now and it seems winter weather is finally behind us (knock on wood!) and now is the perfect opportunity to take the leap into the world of gardening as we’ll have seedlings for sale at our upcoming summer farmers’ markets (Exeter Opening Day is Thursday, May 2nd, Portsmouth Opening Day is May 4th).

This year, thanks to the Granite State Market Match (GSMM) program, SNAP recipients can enjoy a 50% discount on seedlings using their EBT benefits. GSMM, an incentive program in New Hampshire, doubles SNAP/EBT benefits for fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets, farm stands, and CSAs. SNAP participants can also get discounts on seeds at participating retailers via Double Up Food Bucks. Aside from seedlings, GSMM has also expanded its offerings to include canned, dried, or frozen fruits, vegetables, and legumes without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt. Click here for a full list of eligible foods.

Besides victory gardens being good for your wallet, there are many other benefits to planting your own vegetables:

  1. Get Outside Recent research has shown that gardening can contribute to your daily exercise! Not only does it burn calories and work your muscles but it can help boost your mood as well. Community gardening has shown to provide social benefits that can alleviate stress and help combat isolation and even dementia!
  2. Environmental Sustainability By growing your own food, you’ll never have to worry about what pesticides and chemicals were used and know your food didn’t travel across the country to get to your plate. 
  3. Educational Opportunities – Victory gardens offer valuable educational opportunities for your family. Learn firsthand about plant biology, ecology, and sustainable agriculture practices. Gardening is a lifelong and invaluable skill that can be passed down through generations.
  4. Food Security – By growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you can ensure a steady supply of nutritious food, particularly during times of economic uncertainty or supply chain disruptions (COVID-19 anyone?).
  5. Farmer Appreciation – Through planting, growing and harvesting your own food you may get a sense of the amount of work that farmers put in to produce high yields of quality produce. If you’re interested in learning more about local farmers and sustainable agricultural practices, join Liz Willey, owner and operator of Wild Fern Farm, on June 2nd for a farm tour, discussion on collaborative farming, and a fun farm activity! Keep a look out on our event page for more information.


Not sure what or when to plant? Check out this planting calendar to plan your garden. Before the last frost, around May 21 – May 31, the best vegetables to plant are ones that can withstand colder temperatures including broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, onions, lettuce, peas, radish, spinach and turnips. 

Come visit us at the next summer farmers’ market to get your seedlings started. With the right selection of plants, you could be enjoying fresh produce within just 40 to 90 days. So, step out of your home and bask in the sunshine as you embark on this rewarding journey of self-sufficiency and nourishment! 

4 thoughts on “Start Your Spring Victory Garden

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