America, We Love You So Much We Could Eat You!
Love can be shown in many ways, from tattoos to shoes. Love for one’s country is no different. As our predecessors have shown, gardening can be a form of allegiance. Peep our slideshow for a look at some old school, green-thumbed patriotism.
Victory gardens were the thing to do among the Allies during World War I and II. Food production was falling as farm workers were trading tractors for tanks. Savvy businessman and third-generation timberman Charles L. Pack organized the National War Garden Commission with the goal of popularizing gardening efforts to homeowners and urban dwellers. (Sounds familiar.) The commission emphasized that the food produced would help lower the overall price of vegetables and allow the US War Department to spend the money reserved for feeding the troops on other military costs. To help push the cause, the United States government put together a movie, aptly titled The Victory Garden. You will love it.
[For a different perspective, check out a cartoon the U.S. Army Signal Corps created to let the troops know that America was “woikin’ in the ol’ hometown!” Allegedly, it was animated by one Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel.]
All in all, war gardens did some work — about nine to 10 tons of work, actually. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were more than 20 million gardens planted in the name of victory. And the movement is far from over. In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama took a cue from Eleanor Roosevelt (who planted the first Presidential victory garden) and claimed 1,100 square-feet of the White House lawn for a “Kitchen Garden.” And still others remain engaged in the cause:
Green Patriot Posters have created their own line of posters in what they call a “propaganda campaign for new, American home-front values.” Check out their original work and if you feel inspired, guess what? They’re taking submissions for a book of work they’re putting together. Uncle Sam wants YOU to save the world — or at least make a poster about it. Share your creation with us on Facebook or Twitter!
- The creators of The Modern Victory Garden still regard growing your own food as a patriotic duty. They consider their garden — which boasts a 2011 harvest tally of 80 pounds from 1,192 square feet of beds — to be a part of a “grass roots revolution.” That’s something a nation of historical rabble-rousers can dig
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