Time To Get Your Green Thumb On!

Get ready to grow with us as we launch our “Victory Garden Initiative” to help people learn how to grow, then prepare their own food at home. 

Victory gardens emerged during World Wars I and II as a way to minimize demand on an overburdened public food system. Citizens were encouraged to grow fruits and vegetables, so more of the food coming from farms and processors could be shipped overseas to soldiers. During the wars Victory Gardens became a part of daily life on the home front, with people growing food in whatever spaces they could — rooftops, fire escapes, empty lots, window boxes, and backyards. It became the patriotic thing to do. 

Recently, there has been a renewed interest in the Victory Garden concept with food recent insecurities due to COVID-19, with many people starting their own gardens or growing produce or herbs in containers. Nature At The Confluence has a Victory Garden display in the learning gardens where we’re growing a sampling of heirloom varieties. 

Free Recipes Offered Every Two Weeks

“With regular programs at Nature At The Confluence either postponed or cancelled, we are creating new ways to engage people in the outdoors”, says executive director Therese Oldenburg. “We’re also offering new recipes every two weeks, so visitors will be able to stop back to the Victory Garden Mailbox to pick up new recipes using items that may be available at a farmer’s market or in their gardens.”

Stateline SunZilla Sunflower Growing Challenge

Part of the Victory Garden initiative is the Stateline SunZilla Sunflower Growing Challenge. This offers a way to have some fun together this summer trying to grow the biggest sunflower heads, and tallest stalks. Sunflowers are fast growing plants, that are wonderful for pollinators, attracting bees and butterflies. You can harvest the seeds to make a healthy snack, or leave seeds on the head to dry to attract birds.

Nature At The Confluence has purchased a limited amount of Russian Mammoth and Kong varieties of sunflower seeds to giveaway. Starting May 21, free packets of 3-5 seeds will be available in the Victory Garden Mailbox at the nature center gardens while supplies last (limit 1 pack per family or group). A planting tip sheet will be offered as well. Or, you can purchase your own variety at Ace, Menards or Walmart to join in the fun. The Russian Mammoth and Kong varieties produce large seed heads and can grow 5-10 feet tall. Learn more at this link.