Monday, October 25, 2010

Apple Girls

Apple Girls

The girls an I took a trip to the apple orchard on Friday afternoon. We were excited to harvest our own apples to bring home. We went to the orchard as a lesson on how important it was to Harvest food during World War two and how women played many important roles in making sure that the country kept running while the men were overseas fighting for freedom. From 1941-1945 the U.S. Government campaigned to recruit pickers that would harvest the fruits of our orchards. The Women’s Land Army was a specialized branch of the U.S. Crop Corps that got laborers in the orchards and fields to harvest food during this where farm workers were serving their country on another front. The women at home knew how important the timely harvest of fruits, vegetables and other farm products was to prevent spoilage and waste.

We picked a small bag of apples for $15. It’s rather a pricey bag of apples compared to the amount of apples that we could buy for that same amount at the local grocery store, but we enjoy the experience and like to support local business. However this time it seemed different. As we walked through the rows of trees the girls and I were struck at the amount of food lying on the ground going to waste. During today’s hard economic conditions it seemed to us that there was too much waste and that the country should be putting into practice some of the programs that helped the country get through difficult times in the past. As consumers it’s good that we continue to support small local businesses and farms, however it’s also important for those small businesses to give back to the community when they can. A van with a couple of people from the homeless shelter and some bins could keep people in need feed with healthy locally grown fruit. Yet there it laid on the ground to spoil.

In the 1940s American’s realized that the bounty produced from a plot of land was too valuable to waste. Families were encouraged to grow Victory Gardens, which supplemented the food rations that were allotted to a family. Not to grow a garden or care for fruiting shrubs and trees was considered unpatriotic. For a farm, or family, to not use and preserve the harvest was downright un-American. Every single person pitched in to make sure that we all had enough.

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