Aging is inevitable, and for many, it signals the beginning of a new chapter - one where you cross off bucket list items and live life to the fullest, on your own terms. However, for some men, aging is a horrible prospect, filled with chronic fatigue, irritability, and inability to perform in the bedroom. If you're concerned about life in middle age and beyond, we've got great news: there are easy, proven steps that you can take to help stop the negative effect of aging.
Global Life Rejuvenation was founded to give men a new lease on life - one that includes less body fat, fewer mood swings, and more energy as you age. If you're ready to look and feel younger, it's time to consider TRT (testosterone replacement therapy), and growth hormone peptides. These therapies for men are effective, safe, and customized to fit your goals, so you can keep loving life as you get older.
TRT, and growth hormone peptide therapies bridge the gap between your old life and the more vibrant, happier version of you. With a simple click or call, you can be well on your way to a brighter future. After all, you deserve to be the one in charge of your wellness and health. Now, you have the tools to do so - backed by science and applied by our team of TRT and HRT experts with more than 13 years of experience.
For men, getting older comes with its perks, like living life on their own terms and not having to "sweat the small stuff" day in and day out. At the same time, there are aspects of aging that men dread, like hormonal changes. Yes, you read that right â men, not just women, go through hormonal changes as they age. For men, the biggest change involves a drop in testosterone.
Lower levels of testosterone can wreak havoc on a male's mind and body and when left untreated, can result in symptoms like:
Those symptoms are concerning, but with testosterone replacement therapy and anti-aging medicine, many males improve their quality of life with age. The good news is that TRT and anti-aging meds aren't only reserved for "old guys." In fact, there's no magic age at which men should start thinking about hormone replacement therapy. Everyone's body is different, so if you're experiencing the above conditions in your mid-30s, TRT could be a viable solution when you consult with a doctor.
Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.
When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:
As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.
Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.
Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes â especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.
When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.
For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.
When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.
For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.
Are you used to blasting through a productive day and accomplishing all your daily goals? Do you find yourself losing muscle mass and the craving to be intimate with your partner? Does your partner complain about how irritable you have become? If you're not usually a curmudgeon, your body could be giving you a sign. It could be time to speak with a doctor about TRT and anti-aging medicine for men in Victory Gardens, NJ.
If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might be battling against low testosterone:
One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.
The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.
Weak erections â it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.
Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.
Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?
Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.
Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Victory Gardens, NJ, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.
Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.
If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.
Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Victory Gardens, NJ, is now available to address hair loss for good.
While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.
Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.
If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.
Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.
If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.
Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.
A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels â as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.
The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.
TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.
You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed â and it may stem from low testosterone.
A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.
Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age â these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.
However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.
Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.
Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.
Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.
The benefits of hormone replacement therapy for men are numerous. TRT not only grants relief from low-T symptoms but can help give protection against age-related diseases. Additionally, doctors now recognize male testosterone as an important role in alleviating depression.
Some of the most exciting benefits of TRT can include:
Because men do not go through a specific period of hormonal changes like women do (called menopause), many doctors refer to "male menopause" as androgen decline. This is just another term for low testosterone, but like female menopause, the symptoms can be serious and affect your quality of life.
The best way to fight back against male menopause is with male HRT treatment from Global Life Rejuvenation. We provide the following HRT treatments for men:
Our treatment options are personalized for your body and are available as creams, gels, injectables, and implantable pellets. To find out if testosterone replacement therapy is safe for you, contact Global Life Rejuvenation today to schedule your comprehensive testing and anti-aging treatment consultation.
Growth hormone peptides are an innovative therapy that boosts the natural human growth hormone production in a person's body. These exciting treatment options help slow down the aging process and give you a chance at restoring your youth.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Benefits of Sermorelin include:
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.
Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!866-793-9933
Americans were once urged to plant in every patch of available soil — and produced about 40 percent of the nation’s fresh vegetables.“Small things count,” read a headline in the tiny, insistent pamphlet published by the National War Garden Commission in 1919. The pitch made gardening a civic duty.And though the illustrations were cute, the text was urgent: “Prevention of widespread star...
Americans were once urged to plant in every patch of available soil — and produced about 40 percent of the nation’s fresh vegetables.
“Small things count,” read a headline in the tiny, insistent pamphlet published by the National War Garden Commission in 1919. The pitch made gardening a civic duty.
And though the illustrations were cute, the text was urgent: “Prevention of widespread starvation is the peacetime obligation of the United States. … The War Garden of 1918 must become the Victory Garden of 1919.”
The victory garden movement began during World War I and called on Americans to grow food in whatever spaces they could — rooftops, fire escapes, empty lots, backyards. It maintained that there was nothing more valuable than self-sufficiency, than working a little land, no matter how small, and harvesting your own eggplant and tomatoes.
That idea resonates as trips to the grocery store become fraught with fears of coronavirus exposure, and shoppers worry that industrial agriculture could fail them during a pandemic.
When victory gardens came back to prominence during World War II, newspapers and magazines gleefully documented national gardening initiatives, with Life Magazine publishing full-page images of “pretty girls in becoming shorts” digging the ground in 1943.
It looked like a stunt, but so many people took the movement to heart that, at one point, it’s estimated that home, school and community gardeners produced close to 40 percent of the country’s fresh vegetables, from about 20 million gardens.
As the war ended, and lawns took over American backyards, those earnest posters of cheery home gardeners and fierce-looking vegetables became a relic of wartime scarcity — until a few weeks ago.
With panicked shoppers cleaning out stores, and basic foods like dried beans and potatoes becoming increasingly difficult to track down, even those with no gardening experience are searching for do-it-yourself YouTube videos on how to build a raised bed.
On the first day of spring, home gardeners planted seeds and saplings. Savvy nurseries rushed to get their inventories online so shoppers could pay in advance and make contactless, curbside pickups. Bags of potting soil sold out. Corn, sorghum, squash, kale and cabbage seeds moved fast.
“Like every seed company, we’ve had a huge uptick in sales,” said Nate Kleinman, who lives and farms in southern New Jersey (where nurseries and farming supply stores have been classed as essential businesses).
“People seem to be preparing for some serious disruptions in the food supply. I’m not alone in feeling concerned with how this may go down,” he said.
Mr. Kleinman co-founded the Experimental Farm Network in 2013, a nonprofit in Philadelphia, that connects amateur farmers, gardeners, plant breeders and researchers, and also sells organic seeds.
When Mr. Kleinman put up a call on his social media for planting “Corona Victory Gardens,” alongside an image of Superman, Batman and Robin gardening on the cover of a 1943 issue of “World’s Finest Comics,” he heard back almost immediately from 1,000 eager gardeners. The majority of them were amateurs, looking for seeds, lumber to build raised beds and basic information about soil and how to grow food, he said.
“The war-garden model was inspiring for a lot of people, because there were all these huge forces at work around the globe that were out of their control,” Mr. Kleinman said. But he added that the term “victory garden” makes some modern farmers cringe because of its military connotations, and its use during the internment of Japanese-Americans, many of whom were farmers themselves.
The group didn’t want to build a new movement around the old term, and decided to call themselves the “Cooperative Gardens Commission.”
The victory garden program may be more than a century old, but “the parallels right now are pretty stark,” said Rose Hayden-Smith, the author of “Sowing the Seeds of Victory: American Gardening Programs of World War I.”
The first such push started in the context of another pandemic, the influenza outbreak of 1918. “You have to remember, we lost more Americans to the flu than we did to the battlefield,” she said.
Gardens flourished on the home front because people were eager to build their own community-based food security, and to cultivate something beautiful and useful in times of great stress and uncertainty, Ms. Hayden-Smith said.
But ask any farmer — gardening is hard work, growth is slow and yields can be unpredictable.
In 1943, The Times ran a story on the disappointments and failures of the millions of first-time gardeners who had thrown themselves into planting gardens without much experience, and were now hesitant to invest in insecticides or soil tests.
“The First Year Is the Hardest,” the headline assured readers, but it wasn’t assuring enough. A year later, The Times reported that “no amount of warning will make people plant their Victory gardens again this year unless they are convinced that they are really needed.”
The craze slowed down. Millions of gardens were abandoned.
On Wednesday, there were about six inches of snow on the ground outside Albany, where Leah Penniman works as the farm manager of Soul Fire Farm, but next week, she and her team will build a vegetable garden for a refugee family in nearby Troy, N.Y.
Ms. Penniman, the author of “Farming While Black,” stressed that provision gardening wasn’t new, not even a century ago when the federal government partnered with private organizations and grass-roots efforts to promote gardens in pamphlets, posters and short films.
“What we stand for now is what our elders and ancestors have always stood for,” Ms. Penniman said. “To free ourselves, we must feed ourselves.”
Soul Fire Farm builds about 10 large gardens a year for households, schools, churches and communities in need of fresh food, providing the labor, lumber, soil and coaching to complete each project.
After sending out an email on Monday to remind people of the program during the pandemic, Ms. Penniman said she had already received 50 requests — the demand for five years’ worth of gardens in a single day.
“In some ways we’ve been preparing for this all our lives as organizers and as small-scale farmers,” she said. “As we see the systems we’ve come to rely on show their cracks, we are called to rise to the moment.”
During World War II, millions of Americans grew their own vegetables, but the movement was driven much more by government and corporate messaging than by the threat of starvation.July 15, 2020In the latest article from “Beyond the World War II We Know,” a series from The Times that documents lesser-known stories from World War II, we recount the history of victor...
During World War II, millions of Americans grew their own vegetables, but the movement was driven much more by government and corporate messaging than by the threat of starvation.
July 15, 2020
In the latest article from “Beyond the World War II We Know,” a series from The Times that documents lesser-known stories from World War II, we recount the history of victory gardens and some of the misconceptions of how they emerged after the United States joined the conflict.
Of all the celebrated nostalgic markers of World War II, few are as memorable as America’s victory gardens — those open lots, rooftops and backyards made resplendent with beets, broccoli, kohlrabi, parsnips and spinach to substitute for the commercial crops diverted to troops overseas during the war.
The gardens were strongly encouraged by the American government during World War I as part of the at-home efforts, yet they became immensely more popular with the introduction of food rationing during the Second World War as processed and canned foods were shipped abroad.
It’s often said that this later era of victory gardens emerged out of grass-roots collective action to prevent the risk of running out of food, which was already hurting countries all over Europe. Despite the millions of pounds of food being diverted from American kitchen tables for the war effort, there was little threat of citizens going hungry. Rather, the victory-garden movement was driven much more by government and corporate messaging meant to invoke American solidarity.
“Americans like to portray that they worked hard and would have starved had they not gardened,” said Allan M. Winkler, a distinguished professor emeritus of history at Miami University of Ohio. “Victory gardens were a symbol of abundance and doing it yourself, but that was more symbolism than reality.”
Nearly two-thirds of American households participated in some form of national harvest; even Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden on the White House lawn. By 1943, close to 20 million families planted seven million acres of gardens across the United States, producing more than 15 billion pounds, or roughly 40 percent, of the fresh produce Americans consumed that year.
Public service advertisements urging Americans to grow vegetables and to can them peppered libraries, community centers and newsreels in movie theaters. They offered motivational messages such as “Your country needs soybeans,” and “Can all you can. It’s a real war job!” One poster featured a fresh-faced girl in overalls holding a hoe and a basket of bounty, with the tagline “Grow vitamins at your kitchen door.”
Still, food-production levels throughout American involvement in the war were pretty stable. The peak year of rationing in the United States was in 1943, and food shortages never neared those in Europe and Asia. In 1942, for example, Americans consumed 138 pounds of meat per capita, a mere three pounds less than the prior year, according to Amy Bentley’s 1998 book “Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity.” Americans were pressed to leave more for troops, with government campaigns stressing that fighting men would get their strength from meat.
“Look and Life magazines were where people got information,” said Bentley, a professor of food studies at New York University. “Citizens had a clear understanding of the threats of war and what their efforts were supposed to be, and corporations wanted to be associated with that.”
The National Victory Garden Program, which was created by the War Food Administration in 1941, got early and strong support from corporations. It was a very top-down movement, with a board composed of chief executives from agriculture companies who saw the gardens as an exercise both in expressing their patriotism and product placement, according to Anastasia Day, a scholar in the University of Delaware’s history department. Many of the companies gave packs of seeds — often labeled “Victory Seeds” — with purchase of their products. In return, corporations received tax breaks for promoting the war efforts to consumers.
“I think one modern-day analogue is how big oil companies promote alternative energies and green washing, ostensibly working against their own interest,” said Day. “Just as Green Giant peas were big supporters of victory gardens.”
The messaging from the top also attempted to shift American eating habits through promotional campaigns and even changing nutritional guidelines that often celebrated specific sectors of agriculture. For example, as the government tried to further ration meat intended for servicemen, Americans were pushed to enjoy soybeans, peanut butter, eggs and organ meats. Newspapers printed how-to columns on building chicken houses and caring for hens.
While it feels easy to draw narrative lines between victory gardens and the organic, local food movement of today, in truth the fresh-vegetable trends of World War II were almost immediately subsumed by postwar Jell-O molds, cake mixes and frozen dinners — all markers of modern living at the time. Many women did most of the cooking and enjoyed being free of domestic gardening and canning, and celebrated all forms of culinary convenience during the baby boom era. That was especially true of white families who populated the newly developing suburbs after the war.
“The rise of suburbs was the culmination of this urge that owning property and having your own space of land is something that is inherently American,” Day explained. “Victory gardens were a transitional phase on the way to the promise that was largely fulfilled for white, upwardly mobile working-class Americans as they moved to the suburbs,” where victory gardens all but disappeared.
The gleaming new suburban developments tended not to include garden plots. What is more, entrusting corporations with food preparation was the ultimate postwar cultural shift (so cleverly captured in the show “Mad Men”).
As a result of the new processed food trends, American tastes evolved too, trending away from fresh flavors and seasonal produce. A generation later, those preferences would return to become the centerpieces of upscale restaurants in the contemporary United States. While many Black families in the South and Latinos in the Southwest kept up gardening traditions, predominantly white suburban homes were big on shelf-stable products to fill newly expansive pantries, and technology that had gone toward the war effort was transplanted to things used in the home.
“The golden age of food processing created a plethora of products, and consumers were enamored by them,” Bentley said. “Fresh-tasting produce becomes less important than convenience, shelf stability, price and storage capacity. People also learned they like the heavy sugars and salt used in canned vegetables and fruit.”
This spring, there was a spurt of new attention to the wartime victory gardens, and a search for lessons and inspiration for Americans locked down in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Some citizens were turning to their own gardens for dinner. There was a spate of replanting onions from scraps and a run on seeds. But that attention has been eclipsed by ominous news from the home front, where coronavirus infections and deaths have surged, and backyard gardening in 2020 has lacked a unified, depoliticized social movement to fuel it.
“As I think about the victory gardens of World War II, I think their most important value was in getting the public to feel involved in the war,” Winkler said. “In the Covid-19 pandemic, there is some of that. Wearing masks is protective, and necessary, to be sure, but it also gives us a sense of doing our part.”
In April, we were so starved for life and living that we saved a sprouted cooking onion, named it the Hope Onion, and grew it in a vase indoors where we could watch its pale roots get long and tangled. Meanwhile, The New York Times called us “scallion nation,” and people on the Internet thought we all should be victory gardeners again.At the ...
In April, we were so starved for life and living that we saved a sprouted cooking onion, named it the Hope Onion, and grew it in a vase indoors where we could watch its pale roots get long and tangled. Meanwhile, The New York Times called us “scallion nation,” and people on the Internet thought we all should be victory gardeners again.
At the Fenway Victory Gardens on a recent Sunday in May, Brenda Velez, in overalls and a mask, was working her plot.
“I got my seeds ready,” Velez said. “I’m ready to go.”
There are real victory gardeners in Boston already — 405 of them, down on the Fens, tending 15-by-25-foot plots where their own onions have deep roots in the historic ground, where the radishes are up, the lilacs in bloom, and the resurrection in full swing.
Community gardens have been allowed to remain open during the shutdown, and this of course includes the Fenway Victory Gardens. Established in 1942, it is the nation’s oldest surviving war garden. On the original 7.5 acres along the Muddy River, just one block from Fenway Park, it endures.
During World War II, the Fenway Victory Gardens was one of 49 planted all over the city, including on Boston Common. A neighboring piece of land on the Fenway was even maintained as a “model victory garden” by the Globe, which published lengthy front-page articles about its progress.
Victory gardens famously produced 44 percent of Americans’ wartime fruits and vegetables. Some 2,600 families participated in Boston, 20 million nationwide, according to “To Dwell Is to Garden: A History of Boston’s Community Gardens” by Sam Bass Warner Jr.
“I can’t even tell you how exciting it is to be part of that [history],” said Velez, 54, a visual merchandiser who designs store displays and whom the pandemic has forced out of a job.
“I feel like this is another war, a different one. We’re still there [at the Victory Gardens]. We’re not going anywhere,” she said. “We’re still out there with Mother Earth, making the most of things.”
Americans have gardened through many of the great crises in our history, and those without their own land have planted on public property.
During the depression of the 1890s, Mayor Hazen Pingree created potato patch gardens for Detroit’s unemployed. In Boston in 1895, 52 men and two women each harvested some 20 to 55 bushels of potatoes on land the Industrial Aid Society for the Prevention of Pauperism secured, Warner wrote. Similar efforts were restarted during the Great Depression — relief gardens, thrift gardens.
Unlike the victory gardens of World Wars I and II, these gardens are little known today. Poverty is light on propaganda, heavy on potatoes.
Many temporary gardens — glorified and not — simply vanished after the time of need. Not on the Fens, where gardeners adapted to peacetime, mounting a successful campaign at the mayor’s office and shifting production from food to flowers.
“As far as is known, there is no identical project in this country,” late cofounder Richard D. Parker wrote in a typescript preserved at the Massachusetts Historical Society. “It is indeed an outstanding privilege to have a garden in The Fenway.”
Many of today’s gardeners live nearby, in small homes made even smaller by stay-at-home advisories. Christine Nelson, 34, a pharmacist, told me her victory garden is actually bigger than the Fenway apartment she shares with her husband.
Walking the Victory Gardens’ narrow, wood-chipped lanes is an intimate affair. One peers not into conventional community garden plots, but into the vast outdoor living rooms of the little-apartment people. There are couches and benches and chairs, and lawns as smooth as area rugs. Shiny bric-a-brac catching the thin, early morning sun. A statue of Jizo, the Japanese splinter-removing god. All kinds of things, a vast collection — every gardener’s own mark.
“A lot of people refer to it as a large backyard,” said Gerald Cooper, 77, who is keeping busy building a brick patio in the back of the plot he’s had for more than 20 years.
“I’m there every day, five or six hours at least. Even when there’s rain, I’ll think about going. I usually debate about whether to go down there in the rain or stay in the apartment and clean it up,” he said. “I usually go down there in the rain.”
The gardens are not unchanged. Veterans say there’s a kind of uneasiness now, with old friends and neighbors in masks, 6 feet or more away. Some are converting their plots back to their original purpose.
“Before the pandemic we had a lot of gardeners that were raising perennials, flowers, and some herbs,” said Elizabeth Bertolozzi, Fenway Victory Gardens president. “[Now] people are really determined to do some additional vegetable gardening, because every little bit helps and they’re just concerned that maybe they could put their plots to better use.”
Rick Richter, vice president of the Victory Gardens, is planting an all-vegetable crop for the first time. He’s got 150 tomato plants started in his small apartment.
“I’ve got grow lights all over the place and plants all over,” Richter, 64, explained from home. “It’s going to be a little jungle in here, so I’m really hoping for some warm weather pretty soon.”
The Trustees of Reservations, which manages 56 Boston community gardens (although not the Fenway Victory Gardens, a nonprofit on city land), reports a surge in requests for plots this spring. Applications have doubled. And even in good times, there are not enough plots to meet demand.
“The major role of food access is of course highlighted in this economically insecure time,” said Michelle de Lima, who is the engagement manager for The Trustees’ community gardens. “[But] I don’t think realistically the majority of those people are [gardening] because they have no other way to get food. I think they’re doing it because they’re going a little crazy and they need something positive and hopeful in their lives.”
Zachary Nowak, a historian of urban agriculture and a Harvard College fellow, agreed.
“As far as victory gardens becoming the source of everyone’s food, I don’t know,” he said. “But those people … who just grow flowers and flowering bushes … are giving a much more important gift to the rest of us in the city — and that’s just hope, straight up.”
Scott Zak is one such victory gardener. The 58-year-old Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center nurse grows only flowers in the sunbaked plot he’s had for 25 years: marigolds, zinnias, nasturtiums, and three colors of statice: purple, white, and blue.
He works in the organ transplant unit, so he cannot bring flowers into the hospital, but sometimes he’ll take pictures for his patients.
He said that even in a non-COVID-19 unit, the situation at Beth Israel is very tense.
“It’s horrible. Everything you see on TV is accurate,” he reported. “We were having a meeting among nurses and other staff members — kind of, like, get in touch of how we’re dealing with stress — and the social worker says, ‘Does anyone have any ways of dealing with stress?’ Everyone kind of looked at each other, like, not really, you know, just grin and bear it. And then one of the nurses said, ‘Well, Scott, you have your garden, don’t you?’ ”
Gardens created for war have become a refuge from a new plague and new problems.
“It doesn’t mean to say that you go there and you forget that everything is happening,” explained Marie Fukuda, 54, a victory gardener on the Fens and a project coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital. “But it’s a reminder that there’s a pace of things that will continue regardless of whether we continue — and although that sounds weird, it’s also very comforting.”
After 24 years, “I can go out there and the same pesky weed that drives me crazy is coming up at around the same time it always does,” Fukuda said.
In springs and summers past, Seth Kilgore, a 64-year-old John Hancock Financial Services employee, could be seen walking from the garden to his South End apartment with a bucketful of fresh-cut flowers: peonies, zinnias, sunflowers.
Daffodils are his favorites, and over the past two decades he’s accumulated a large collection. Many are hand-me-downs from other victory gardeners who have moved out or moved on.
This spring there were flowers, but no gardener.
“We’ve missed the daffodils this year,” Kilgore said. His wife’s at high risk, so he hasn’t been down to his garden at all. “But there’ll be other years.”
Gene Tempest is a Cambridge-based writer and historian. Read more of her work at genetempest.com and get in touch at [email protected].
First the raised beds arrived, three narrow boxes lining the edge of my yard. Then came the soil in a big pungent pile, demanding to be shoveled. And last weekend, I brought home trays of delicate little plants that promise a summer of Swiss chard, snap peas, tomatoes and beets.The last time my family grew fruits and vegetables, I was a child, and I mostly nibbled my father’s strawberry patch clean. But this summer I’m growing my family’s food.With the prospect of a long, hot season spent mostly at home, my ga...
First the raised beds arrived, three narrow boxes lining the edge of my yard. Then came the soil in a big pungent pile, demanding to be shoveled. And last weekend, I brought home trays of delicate little plants that promise a summer of Swiss chard, snap peas, tomatoes and beets.
The last time my family grew fruits and vegetables, I was a child, and I mostly nibbled my father’s strawberry patch clean. But this summer I’m growing my family’s food.
With the prospect of a long, hot season spent mostly at home, my garden has never looked riper for growing. I am not alone. Garden centers are reporting a surge in business as homeowners look for ways to grow vegetables, in a spirit reminiscent of the Victory Gardens of World War I and World War II. As Americans face deep economic insecurity, coupled with food shortages and long lines at the grocery store, gardening has taken on a new urgency.
“If you are worried about Covid-19 and going to stores, you have a lot of control over your own environment in your own garden,” said Janice Parker, principal of Janice Parker Landscape Architects in Greenwich, Conn.
With a little planning, and some good soil, planting a vegetable garden can pass the time and put food on the table. Here’s how to get one started.
Before you start your gardening project, contact your local garden center to find out if they are open, what supplies they have in stock and what social-distancing measures are in place. Most states have declared garden centers essential services, but there still may be restrictions or shortages of some supplies.
You will most likely need containers, raised beds (or lumber to make your own), fencing materials and, of course, plants, seeds and soil. And if you don’t have a good shovel, gardening gloves and hand tools, now is the time to get those items.
Some garden centers are offering delivery or curbside drop-off. Others are practicing social distancing inside the premises. Seeds and other materials can be ordered online, although deliveries may be delayed, and since it’s midway through May, time is of the essence.
Join a local gardening group (many can be found on Facebook), and see if anyone in your area is trading seedlings or supplies they do not need. The connections can also help you learn skills from seasoned gardeners. “One of the ways people get access to things when things are in short supply, is they’ve got a network of friends,” said Carol Deppe, a plant breeder and the author of “The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times.”
You don’t need access to the outdoors to garden. If you have a window, you have space to grow a little food, even if it’s just a pot of herbs on the windowsill.
“Even if you don’t have a fire escape or a balcony, you can still be growing a tiny garden in your kitchen,” said Leah Penniman, the farm manager of Soul Fire Farm in Petersburg, N.Y. and the author of “Farming While Black.”
You could grow microgreens on an empty aluminum tray or takeout food container. Punch holes in the bottom, fill it with soil, and densely lay the seeds — kale, collard greens, mustard greens or radishes — on top of the soil. Cover the seeds with a damp paper towel and water them every day, keeping the soil “moist as a sponge,” said Ms. Penniman. Once they sprout, remove the paper towel and in about two weeks, you’ll have microgreens.
Plants like tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, chard, herbs, eggplant and even potatoes can grow in containers on a balcony, rooftop or fire escape, so long as you choose ones suitable for your region of the country.
You should select small and vertical growing varieties of your favorite vegetables. If you’re planting a rooftop garden, make sure you don’t inadvertently block any drainage pipes or gutters. If you’re using a fire escape, be sure to keep exit routes clear. Place a trellis against a balcony wall and grow vines, such as varieties of cucumbers, squash, peas and pole beans.
“Some vegetables are good for small patios, like Tumbling Tom is grown in a hanging basket,” said Diana Cluff, the plant designer at the Farm at Green Village, a garden center in Green Village, N.J. “It’s a wonderful cherry tomato. It cascades.”
Choose containers with good drainage, in whatever material appeals to your taste — ceramic, wood, plastic or a fabric grow bag. Larger pots will be easier to maintain than smaller ones because the soil will not dry out as quickly, so choose as large a container as possible. Self-watering containers extend the time between watering. Place your containers in a spot with full sun before you fill them with organic potting mix. (Once the pots are filled, they’ll be heavy to move.) Place vines against a wall or railing, to make it easier for the vines to climb.
Before you make your planting bed, choose a location with at least six hours of full sun. If your garden has good quality soil and is free of toxins, like lead, you can dig directly into the ground, removing any sod, weeds and roots, and replenishing the soil with a mix of compost and potting soil. But get your soil tested before you attempt to grow food in it.
If you’re not up for testing, prepping and tilling, build a raised bed. You will be able to control the soil, the weeds and, if you’re renting your home, take your box with you when you move. You can buy ready-made raised beds at a garden supply company, or build your own with lumber, nails and screws. (I ordered my raised bed from a local craftsman who built three narrow ones to fit my small space.)
Place a layer of landscape fabric beneath your raised bed and then fill the box with soil. Ms. Penniman recommends using a mix of 50 percent topsoil and 50 percent compost. You can buy bags of organic raised bed soil, too. Many municipalities give away compost, so ask yours if any is available. An online soil calculator can help you determine how much soil you need before you shop.
To keep the furry and feathered neighbors from eating your bounty before you do, lay a mesh barrier underneath the bed and build a fence around it. The fence should be tall and sturdy enough to keep deer, rabbits and groundhogs out, but does not need to be a fortress. “People are told to build a much more aggressive fence than they need — ours are five feet high,” said John Carlson, the owner of Homefront Farmers, a Redding, Conn., company that designs, builds and maintains garden beds.
Let your stomach tell you what to plant. If tomatoes are your jam, double down. If you never eat eggplant, it doesn’t deserve a spot in your plot.
“It doesn’t do you any good to plant red radishes and then they sit around because no one in the family likes little red radishes,” Ms. Deppe, the author of “The Tao of Vegetable Gardening,” said. “Grow stuff your family eats.”
Follow the guides on the seed packet or seedling labels to avoid crowding, as your plants will need space to spread out. Be sure to follow your regional planting schedule, so your plants don’t end up in the ground too early or too late. An online garden planner can help you plot out your garden. Soul Fire Farm has been offering weekly gardening tutorials on its Facebook page. And your local garden center can tell you the ideal time to put plants in the ground, and can direct you to low maintenance, disease-resistant varieties.
Add a thin layer of mulch on top of your bed to reduce weeds. You can also use a drip irrigation system (it can be hooked up to a garden hose) to make watering easier. Cluster your containers together so they’re easy to water at once with a sprayer, and make sure you water consistently so the soil doesn’t dry out.
Whatever you do, plant food and flowers that will bring you joy, and will be easy to grow. “The last thing you need this summer is to be disappointed,” Ms. Parker, the landscape architect, said. “This is not the summer for disappointment.”
Whether it was more time to start a new hobby during the pandemic, or some just looking for a healthier, cheaper way to get vegetables and herbs for the family, more and more Americans are now growing their own food."Food gardening," which is defined as household participation in vegetable, fruit trees, berries or herbs gardening, has seen "a significant uptick" since the COVID-19 crisis began, according to researchers at th...
Whether it was more time to start a new hobby during the pandemic, or some just looking for a healthier, cheaper way to get vegetables and herbs for the family, more and more Americans are now growing their own food.
"Food gardening," which is defined as household participation in vegetable, fruit trees, berries or herbs gardening, has seen "a significant uptick" since the COVID-19 crisis began, according to researchers at the National Gardening Association.
The association’s research division shares an annual survey to assess gardening activity and purchasing trends in the U.S. The 2022 survey, which is set to be released in the coming days, found that over two in five U.S. households (41%) participated in food gardening in 2021 — or roughly 53.7 million households.
Starting in 2018, the number of U.S. homes that reported food gardening stood at just 35.4%. It dropped to 33.1% in 2019 before skyrocketing in 2020 to 41.7% — the first year of the pandemic when many were forced to stay at home and picked up new hobbies.
In 2021, the second year of the pandemic, the number of U.S. households growing food decreased slightly to 41.3%, yet remained higher than what was reported in many previous years.
Overall, U.S. households spent an average of $88.24 on food gardening in 2021, the annual survey found.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, beans, carrots, summer squash, onions, hot peppers, lettuce and peas were among the top homegrown vegetables in the U.S., according to a five-year analysis of food gardening by the association, released in 2014.
Last year’s survey highlighted the boom in U.S. gardening, sharing that 18.3 million people picked up some tools and started gardening in 2020. Experienced gardeners also got outside more with two-thirds trying a new gardening activity, it found.
Some 42% of gardeners in 2020 said they increased their activity due to the pandemic, and 88% of gardeners said they intended to increase or maintain their level of gardening activity in 2021 (36% more, 52% the same).
Researchers said the survey found that the intent to garden more was more pronounced among younger ages, gardeners with children, those living in apartments or condos, as well as Black and other gardeners of color.
Nik Sennhauser spoke with FOX Television Stations about his love and recreation of airline meals during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Last year’s survey found that younger gardeners were overall more driven by growing food, as well as the benefits of doing a family activity together.
Meanwhile, older gardeners were more driven to garden in 2020 in an effort to beautify their homes and for exercise.
All age groups in last year’s survey cited the mental health and emotional benefits of gardening.
This story was reported from Cincinnati