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Category — war gardens

1943 Mae West Movie – Victor Moore sings ‘Victory Garden’ song

From the movie ‘The Heat’s On’ 1943

“The way my peas grow littler
You’d think I’d worked for Hitler”

Song sung by Victor Moore (1876- 1962) who
wore a ‘Gardening for Victory’ apron.

“I’ve always tried to be a good American
And when this country went to war
The corner grocer told me
I ought to be a farmer in my own back yard

“And as I struggled from the store
With all the seeds he’d sold me
He said, don’t worry pard
It really isn’t hard

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July 12, 2014   Comments Off

‘Roddy’ Victory Garden Cartoon – 1943


Green Hornet Comics #14
September 1943
Pencils: Jourdain

An obscure cartoon within a popular ‘Green Hornet’ issue. See the one page comic on the next page.

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March 18, 2014   Comments Off

‘Smitty’ Rooftop Victory Garden – 1942


Four page story!

“Ah! A letter for me!!”
Script, Pencils, Inks: Walter Berndt
Characters: Smitty; Mr. Bailey; Herby
Four Color (1942 Series)
(Must see. Mike)

Mr. Bailey puts in a Victory Garden on the roof of his office building. Later Herby tries to get up the nerve to buy a war stamp from a booth and get a kiss from a girl he likes.

“It’s a Victory Garden. Everybody’s doing something to help these days. Every little bit helps. I’ve got carrots, peas, onions, corn, all the good vegetables growing.”

See four full pages of the comix over the page.

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March 12, 2014   Comments Off

1943 – Victory Gardens in Greater New York


“In the closely built areas, particularly in Manhattan, Victory Gardens are out of the question. The return from gardens on roofs is not worth the trouble and expense involved and the raising of vegetables in water culture is not practical for the novice.”

By New York State College of Agriculture
16 pages


The Victory Garden program is for the production of vegetables as a source of vitamins. In 1942 the Victory Garden Program was well underway in rural areas. In 1943 these gardens are still more necessary and the city dweller becomes an additional producer of foods where transportation is not a problem and packages are not needed. Victory gardens represent a patriotic effort as well as insurance against a shortage of vegetables which are need for health.

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November 15, 2013   Comments Off

1945 – Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore in ‘For Vegetables and Victory’

Comedy Team: Gerry Moore shows Jimmy Durante how to plant food in a Victory Garden

By the US Government War Activities Committee

Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore give tips on raising a successful victory garden during World War 2. Their popular radio program, ‘The Camel Comedy Caravan and The Rexal’, launched Garry Moore’s career, revived Jimmy Durante’s, and served as the model for Hanna-Barbera’s popular Augie Doggie & Doggie Daddy cartoons.

Sample of Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore in ‘The Camel Comedy Caravan and The Rexal’ here.

October 9, 2013   Comments Off

1917 – A Million Gardens – How the ‘National Emergency Food Garden Commission’ Will Help the Nation’s Food Supply

Charles Lathrop Pack, of Medical Board. President, National War Garden Commission. Photo taken in 1917 by Harris and Ewing.

Massive national publicity campaign! “The man, woman or child who allows any soil fertility or available labor to go to waste this year deserves the opprobrium that goes to the military slacker.”

By the International Syndicate
The Ogden Standard
June 30, 1917
(Must read. Mike)

President Wilson said in one of his war messages: “Let me suggest that every one who creates or cultivates a garden helps, and greatly, to solve the problem of the feeding of the nations.”

While the Federal Departments, especially the Department of Agriculture, are sending their valuable scientific lore and advice broadcast in the interest of more intensive food cultivation as a war emergency measure, a now national association, with headquarters in Washington is also at work.

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January 3, 2013   Comments Off

1917 Punch: Potato golf on the allotments during WW1

Click on image to see larger file.

“The links being devoted to allotments, Mr and Mrs Bunker Browne practise approach shots, with the idea of filling their basket with potatoes at the same time.”

The ‘links’ are a particular type of golf course.
From Wiki: A links is the oldest style of golf course, first developed in Scotland. The word “links” comes via the Scots language from the Old English word hlinc : “rising ground, ridge” and refers to an area of coastal sand dunes and sometimes to open parkland.

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January 1, 2013   Comments Off

1945: President Roosevelt says it is essential for Victory Gardeners to continue producing food

Document found in the archives: Victory Gardens and Shared Sacrifice.

“I ask people in cities, towns and villages to assist our farmers in every possible way to reach the food goals which have been set for this year.”

From: In Roosevelt History – Sharing the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum Collections and Programs
Found in the Archives
August 18, 2011


Last week we were visited by a group of state nutritionists. As we were identifying some documents on the subject of food that might interest them, we found this item in the President’s Official File on Victory Gardens. It is a draft of a statement that was released by the White House on January 22, 1945, just two days after FDR’s fourth inauguration and the same day that the President left Washington for the Yalta Conference. It was drafted by the Office of Price Administration and the War Food Administration in preparation for 1945’s food information programs. This simple document recalls just how unified the American people were during the war, and how everyone shared in the sacrifices that would lead to victory just a few months later.

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September 26, 2012   Comments Off

1943: President Roosevelt tried to shut the door on a White House ‘Victory Garden’

May 1943. Diana Hopkins planting her Victory Garden of beans, carrots, tomatoes and cabbage almost in the shadow of President Roosevelt’s study. Her garden products will probably be served on the table at the Executive Mansion. Diana’s father, Harry Hopkins was the President’s advisor. Mrs. Hopkins wears her uniform as a volunteer nurse. (AP Wire)

FDR told soil scientists “Tell her the yard is full of rocks or something. The people own this place, and don’t want it busted up just so she can plant beans.”

‘Inside the White House’
By Frank I. Weller
The Tuscaloosa News
Aug 29, 1943


Mrs. Roosevelt is a powerful presence in the presidential picture. But insiders say, FDR slaps down a lot of her ideas. This sometimes gives Eleanor quite a kick, she being a humor-loving person.

White House Skullduggery

In Depression days, Mrs. Roosevelt wanted to tip up the White House lawn for a farm garden.

FDR, they say, told soil scientists to declare White House ground too sorry even to raise an umbrella.

Mrs. R. gave up until she wanted a Victory Garden. The president is said to have called in the soil scientists again, saying something as follows:
“Tell her the yard is full of rocks or something. The people own this place, and don’t want it busted up just so she can plant beans.”

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September 26, 2012   Comments Off

In 1943 – 18,000,000 U.S. Victory Gardens

Nuns of St. Patrick’s Home for the Aged in the Bronx use hoes, rakes and shovels to prepare their garden. The Carmelite Sisters expect to raise most of the Home’s vegetables for summer. Life photo.

The greatest outdoor fad since miniature golf stymied pedestrian traffic on city corners

Life Magazine
May 1943

Excerpted from the Life article: “Victory Gardens – They are springing up in strange nooks and crannies all over the USA”

After a spiteful flurry of winter in the Middle West, spring skipped around the corner last week to bring a little ray of sun to 18,000,000 U.S. victory gardens. Hand and leg with spring came the silly season and the usual crop of pictures showing pretty girls in becoming shorts. But this year limbs are being bared in the interests of the greatest outdoor fad since miniature golf stymied pedestrian traffic on city corners.

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September 19, 2012   Comments Off

Victory Garden at the National Museum of American History

Using a design from a 1943 pamphlet, the Smithsonian Gardens has re-created a World War II victory garden on the terrace outside the National Museum of American History’s cafeteria. The 130-foot-long garden contains over 50 varieties of vegetables and flowers that change with the seasons.

Two excellent videos about Victory Gardens from the Smithsonian Channel

Videos: Garden Secrets – Victory Veggies. Join the horticulturists and landscape architects caring for the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C., and see how the time-tested tips they use can help you create a bountiful vegetable garden in your own backyard. First, they recreate a World War II victory garden, then employ ancient Native American Indian techniques to create “The Three Sisters.”

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September 19, 2012   Comments Off

1946: U.S Digs in to Restore Vital Victory Gardens in World Battle for Food

Allotments to Hungry Europe Hinge on Home Front Harvest

By Millicent Taylor
Garden Editor of The Christian Science Monitor
Mar 29, 1946


Washington Mar 29 – Wallace Urges Canning

Henry Wallace, Secretary of Commerce, told the National Victory Garden Conference that probably more persons will go hungry during the next four months than in any like period in world history.

The food situation in this country he added, could become “really serious” should a drought hit the Midwestern Corn Belt.

He said for the sake of the hungry abroad and for ourselves, it behooves every American in a position to do so to grow a garden this year and preserve some food for next winter.

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June 17, 2012   Comments Off

1915 New York City – School garden of 4 acres in Bronx Park

School Principal Sets Bronx Pupils to Utilizing and Beautifying the Vacant Lots of That Borough

New York Tribune
March 28, 1915


He is making the ash heaps bloom, is Angelo Patri, school principal and philosopher. He is setting the Italian-American population of a large section of The Bronx to work to make useful and beautiful the vacant lots, and is out-Pingreeing the late Governor Pingree of Michigan, who, as Mayor of Detroit, first utilized such tracts and immortalized himself as the creator of “Pingree patches”.

Patri’s plan is more comprehensive than Pingree’s. It goes deeper. He is going to do more than raise potatoes and other vegetables. He is creating beauty where there was ugliness, and he is making the young generation of Italian-Americans better acquainted with their parents, and strengthening the bond between young America and Old Italy.

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April 20, 2012   Comments Off

Harvey Kurtzman, founder of Mad magazine, penned a ‘Victory Garden’ comic in 1943

From Apocolyte’s World Of Comics.

“How Do You Like My Victory Garden?” in Police Comics #25, 1943

Posted by Apocolyte’s World Of Comics

Excerpt about Flatfoot Burns from Toonopedia:

A periodical named Police Comics may seem an unusual place to find a slapstick character like Flatfoot Burns. But maybe not. Considering it started out full of superheroes such as Plastic Man, Firebrand and The Human Bomb, maybe it was simply appropriate that after a couple of years it began to feature an actual policeman, even if not a very serious one. Burns was an early work of cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman, probably best known to the public as the creator of Little Annie Fanny.

Tho he was already working in comics (on super guys like Lash Lightning and Magno & Davey, who were published by Ace Magazines), Burns was his first humorous creation — thus setting the tone for his future career, which included founding Mad magazine.

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February 17, 2012   Comments Off

Victory Garden stories from “An archive of British WW2 memories”

Written by the public and gathered by the BBC

A selection of letters:

Edinburgh allotments
By Elizabeth Gray

At the beginning of the war I was registered as a botanist at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.

I was enlisted as a gardens allotment volunteer and would go round advising people how to grow food. The same thing happened in the 1914-18 war. Ground was dug up and made into allotments at Blackford hill and Inverleith Park and round about the Meadows in the heart of Edinburgh.

Most folk in Edinburgh weren’t gardeners and we showed them what to do. There was a limited number of seeds and plants and I used to take some seed from my own garden to give to people.

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December 16, 2011   Comments Off