Category — war gardens
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.
January 3, 2013 No Comments
“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.
January 1, 2013 No Comments
“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.
September 26, 2012 No Comments
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.”
September 26, 2012 No Comments
The greatest outdoor fad since miniature golf stymied pedestrian traffic on city corners
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.
September 19, 2012 No Comments
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.”
September 19, 2012 No Comments
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.
June 17, 2012 No Comments
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.
April 20, 2012 No Comments
“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.
February 17, 2012 No Comments
Written by the public and gathered by the BBC
A selection of letters:
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.
December 16, 2011 No Comments
By Twigs Way
The humble allotment has a surprisingly turbulent history. Initially the right to an allotment was proposed as a charitable means by which the poor could grow their own food and stave off starvation, but it quickly entered political and social debate. During the World Wars the allotment became the focal point on the home front, as families took part in the Dig for Victory campaigns. The post-war years saw a decline in the popularity of the allotment as the supermarket took over from home-grown produce. Successive governments condemned allotments in favour of new housing.
December 13, 2011 No Comments
By Twigs Way & Mike Brown
Beans as bullets’, ‘Vegetables for Victory’ and ‘Cloches against Hitler’: these slogans convey just how vital gardening and growing food were to the British war effort during the Second World War. Exhorted to ‘Grow More Food’, then to ‘Dig for Victory’, Britain’s ‘allotment army’ was soon out in force, growing as many vegetables as possible in suburban allotments, private gardens, even the grounds of stately homes.
Richly illustrated with contemporary photographs and ephemera relating to the ‘Dig For Victory’ campaign, this expertly researched, highly engaging and informative account also includes archive images of home front gardening, garden produce and advertisements.
December 12, 2011 No Comments
There were many poultry magazines 100 years ago, perhaps as common as our computer magazines today. They were full of photos, stories and ads for a large audience. The North American population was closer to its rural roots then. But even during the First World War, people looked back to a time when they were more involved in agriculture. Mike
From the Editorial
Everybodys Poultry Magazine
“… to increase the production of poultry and eggs, to increase the general interest and especially to, in some way, bring back the thousands upon thousands of small and backyard breeders who flourished years ago, who kept high grade standard-bred stock, and were in part at least, producers as well as consumers.”
“There are great questions requiring consideration and united action, but this one of the backyard breeder in city and village alike is foremost of all.
October 30, 2011 1 Comment
Title: Cliffside Arbutus Tree. “He painted for over 50 years, totally unrecognized, every week, every month, every year.” See more of Donald Flather’s work here.
Flash from the past – 1979 article in City Farmer Newspaper
By Kerry Banks
City Farmer Newspaper
Vol 2 No. 1, October, 1979
(City Farmer began in 1978 by publishing a newspaper. Kerry is a founding member of City Farmer. He is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist. See bio further on.)
(1979) – Dr. Donald Flather and his wife Grace have one of the more unique vegetable gardens in Vancouver. It’s the last remaining ‘victory garden’ from the city’s World War Two home food production effort.
Beginning back in the early forties, the Government of Canada made a concentrated effort to get city and town folk involved in growing their own food. Large advertisements were placed in the daily newspapers.
“Plant a wartime garden,” they urged. “Home production of vegetables is needed now more than any time during the war. Help by growing the vegetables your family needs.”
October 7, 2011 1 Comment
Fresh vegetables were collected from gardens all around the coast for the men serving in minesweepers and small naval crafts.
Thousands upon thousands of vegetables were given out
“Another Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) activity was centred on our shores. Men in minesweepers and small naval craft were often unable to spend long enough on shore to get fresh vegetables. In East Anglia, WVS members approached people who have been evacuated from their homes for permission to collect the vegetables from their gardens and take them to the docks. All around the coast and in Northern Ireland the scheme caught on. Thousands upon thousands of vegetables were given out. In winter cakes and mince pies were added to the hampers.”
September 13, 2010 5 Comments
Daina Mileris, of Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood, picks dead leaves off a tomato vine at the garden at Peterson and Campbell avenues on Sunday. The vibrant urban garden is something of a historical monument in Chicago, having once been the site of a World War II victory garden. Photo by Heather Charles.
Project re-cultivates urban agriculture in West Ridge
By Robert Channick,
September 2, 2010
A vacant lot at Peterson and Campbell avenues in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood has blossomed this summer into a vibrant urban garden — and something of a living historical monument. Once the site of a World War II victory garden, the long-fallow property near the northern edge of the city is blooming again with everything from tomatoes to corn.
Reviving the nearly 70-year-old wartime campaign to replenish scarce produce, the Peterson Garden Project is true to its roots, but also reflective of a growing trend toward localized, community-based agriculture.
September 1, 2010 No Comments
Dog carrying pig food to pig bin
Feeding food scraps to livestock in World War II
This practice is not common today and it is banned in most countries due to animal health concerns. But in England during the war, the activity was promoted and seniors, who grew up in England, remember the Pig Man.
Revised extracts from ‘A Sheltered Childhood ~ Wartime Family Memories of an East Acton Child’
Contributed by Brian Brooks
The Brooks family lived at 18 The Green, East Acton, West London.
“Not only paper and metal had to be salvaged but now food swill to feed animals, such as pigs, as well. This would help meat rationing. A round metal bin and lid, nick-named the ‘Pig Bin’, was put by the lamppost opposite The Bye, beside the path to the public air raid shelter on The Green. This was for everybody’s food scraps and meat bones. The bin was emptied every few days by unhappy-looking POW’s in a very smelly lorry.
The bin became very dented and the lid wouldn’t fit on properly. It also split and smelly yellowy gunge oozed out. People started to avoid walking too close to it because of the smell, unlike the flies which loved it. It was my job (more war work for me!) to take the food scraps to the pig bin.
May 3, 2010 2 Comments
Blind Victory Gardener – Hats Off! 1940
Note: The commentator says Mr Sharper has won the ‘Dig For Victory’ Diploma.
Several M/S’s of elderly gentleman Mr Sharper kneeling down picking potatoes from his allotment in Manchester. The commentator says that he is actually blind. M/S’s of the man wheeling a barrow round his garden.
See more films on the next page.
April 15, 2010 No Comments
Bomb crater, blitzed gardens 1942
London. M/S of Westminster cathedral, the camera pans across to a bomb crater near it which has been turned into a garden. M/S of Mr Hayes who has grown and tended the flowers and vegetables. Various shots of him in the garden.
Various shots as girls of the National Fire Force walk into a big allotment with their gardening tools. The garden has been grown where rubble used to be and now boasts a variety of vegetables. Various shots as the girls tend the garden. C/U’s of little tomatoes and apples. M/S as cabbages are gathered.
See more films on the next page.
April 14, 2010 No Comments
Royal Visit to Allotments – Queen Mary and King George V – 1914
Shot of King and Queen along with Mayor and probably Mayor’s wife; heading up a group of people on this tour; walking along through a garden. Pan as they pass rose bush. Next a man is holding up a piglet. The Queen laughs, pats the critter and scratches its ears.
Shot of the King and 5 other men standing in a garden. George points with his cane at what seems to be a huge prize lettuce. Pan to Queen. Then CU Queen Mary in a line with others; looking down at something.
Note: Queen Mary looks positively jolly in some of these shots! Location of events unknown – somewhere in Britain.
More films on the next page.
April 13, 2010 No Comments