Victory Garden at Longwood

November 15: Harvest II

More lettuce, radishes, turnips plus greens and beets.







The wife of a veteran who lives locally helps deliver to F.A.C.E.S (Farmville Area Community Emergency Services).



November 11: Veterans Day

Longwood University Professor Emeritus of German, Dr. Geoffrey Orth (also former Chair of English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages and Director of the Cormier Honors College and lifetime gardener) was guest lecturer in English 215: Histories and Cultures, whose students are working the garden.





He reminded the class of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, famous Roman statesman of the 6th century BCE, who left his farm to save the Empire in a time of crisis and then, when he had restored order, relinquished his power. He is a model of the citizen soldier and thus a figure important to the Longwood concept of the citizen leader. 





November 1: We bagged our first harvest (lettuce, turnips, chard) this morning, then delivered the produce to FACES (the local food bank) Saturday morning, the regular day of distribution. With another frost warning, we covered the lettuce beds. The other plants are hardy, though will be in danger with the first hard freeze. We plan another, bigger harvest for Veterans Day weekend.



October 24: An anonymous donor contributed this message board, now installed at the garden site.















October 18: Finally, an inch of rain this week! Our rain barrels are full, so we can water individual plants with a watering can.

However, all is not well: a critter, likely one or more of the deer that help themselves to Farmville gardens, chewed pansies, lettuces, and chard.





October 10: A day of mist this week, but no measurable rain. At least it has been cool. And we continue to water. The plants, having established good roots, are growing.


On the left broccoli, beets, and lettuces. On the right chard, ornamental kale, turnips, daikon radishes, and cabbage.










October 3: Rain is finally in the forecast for the coming weekend! We’ve kept things alive by watering.








Mowing the grass around the beds with an old-fashioned push mower–what gardeners used during WWII–involves some work.



September 20: With the able assistance of ROTC cadets, we spread compost over bare ground and prepared to add grass seed–as soon as the forecast includes rain!






September 13: Planting and watering radishes, carrots, lettuces, chrysanthemums.



September 11: remembrance

English 201-05, “9/11: Loss and Redemption,” spent time on the 18th “birthday” of this tragedy to reflect on the costs of the attacks as explored in Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2005 novel, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

At the same time, we continued work on the garden that recognizes those who have responded to the national need throughout our history by planting for the future. The broccoli put in last week, for instance, is prospering.



And a student volunteer hand lettered signs to identify crops.

Our hope is to have all seeds in the beds by the weekend . . . and for rain!


September 6 update: Beds

Ahead of Hurricane Dorian, volunteers move organic compost into beds. Eight beds are ready to plant, but we still need rain.





August 30: Beginning


Guided by an exhibit at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, Home and Abroad is working with Longwood University to establish a campus garden in the tradition of the Victory gardens of WWII. Students in English 215-05, “Histories and Cultures,” will help research, design, and plant the garden as an application of the university’s Citizen Leader program. Their efforts will show support for America’s current military as they continue the tradition of protecting the nation’s interests at home and abroad.


The garden’s campus location is significant because a large magnolia tree beside the plot, planted early in the 20th century, comes from a cutting from a tree at President McKinley’s White House. Learn more here.

One Comment on “Victory Garden at Longwood”

  1. Continuing historical support will enhance this campus and enrich student lives as they participate and follow the progress of this program. I look forward to following events and visiting your garden to appreciate your efforts. May the weather cooperate to produce a flourishing crop.

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