Springin’ Forward

Have you caught up on your sleep yet?

Most people are aware that the practice of Daylight Savings Time has its roots in agriculture, but few know the reason it was put into place. Since Ben Franklin first proposed it in 1784, the practice has had stops and starts – mostly leaving everybody confused about what time it actually was.

President Roosevelt signed DST into law for the duration of World War II, due to the tremendous government push for wartime Victory Gardens. The argument was that in order for every American to do their part and produce food on the home front, they would need extra daylight to come home from their day jobs and cultivate backyard gardens. Just about 20 million Americans got involved with the effort, and ended up producing the same amount of food during those years as the industrial farming systems of the time.

The practice of DST has stuck around, but the battle cry for victory gardens hasn’t remained as urgent since World War II ended. However, growing food at home – whether it be sprouting grains in a jar, keeping laying hens in the backyard, or planting fruit trees – makes a big difference. Fresh air, physical movement, and good food give a gratifying sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.

How are you going to use your extra hour of sunlight each day in the coming weeks?

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About Brie Aronson

Brie Aronson came to Polyface from southern California. During college, she was diagnosed with food allergies and had to begin asking about the source of every single thing she put in her mouth. This led to an interest in all things food and she sought out a way to learn how it can be produced ethically and sustainably. Her desire is to help people shift their focus from counting calories, being intimidated by their kitchens, and being disconnected from the land to one that experiences the life-giving enjoyment of food. Having completed the internship in summer 2010, she now assists with the buying clubs and sales building, leads school tours of the farm, and will be the summer 2012 farm cook.

6 Responses to Springin’ Forward

  1. Amy Swiney says:

    I am so glad for the extra hour of sunlight in the evening because it allows me to spend more time out with my chickens (since I also work a 40 hour week in an office).

  2. Jessica says:

    I had no idea it was for the Victory Gardens. Thanks for the information, and encouragement to get going! I hope to have completed the frames for my first square foot garden. Starting out small, but hope to produce a lot through the summer!

  3. EllaJac says:

    It FIGURES that such an onerous, life-managing decree came from FDR… 😛

    I really don’t like DST. If they could just PICK ONE (and stick with it), I’d be fine. My husband works a) until the job is done or b) until the sun sets, which makes for some VERY long days sometimes. I’d rather employers just have everyone come in an hour early, if they want their 9-5ers having time to garden. 🙂

  4. I remember the old days where various growers were proud of their brand and created their own unquie artwork of a lable to advertise their farms to be pasted on a wooden crate or box. Those days are long gone. Everything is big time industrial Ag.