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Category — war gardens

Canada: August 1942, Response from the Federal Government to Request for Victory Garden Support

Victory Gardens in Montreal.

The growing shortage of labour may by next spring make it necessary to adopt an entirely different attitude, and encouragement of vegetable production in urban home gardens may become necessary.

August 6th, 1942.

To: R. W. Mayhew, Esq., M.P.,
3125 Beach Drive,
Victoria, BC

Dear Mr. Mayhew:

In the absence of the Minister, your letter of July 30th with its enclosure of a communication from an organization entitled “Victory Garden Brigade,” of Victoria, B.C., has been referred to me for reply.

I note that the opinion of the above organization is that this Department should encourage an all-out campaign for home vegetable production, and also the reference to advice given by the Department with respect to 1942 garden plans.

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December 4, 2020   Comments Off on Canada: August 1942, Response from the Federal Government to Request for Victory Garden Support

Canada: 1943 – Canada’s Prime Minister Visits a New York City Victory Garden

The Andrew Carnegie Mansion is a historic house located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Andrew Carnegie moved into his newly completed mansion in late 1902 and lived there until his death in 1919; his wife, Louise, continued to live there until her death in 1946.

Prime Minister Mackenzie King Visits with Mrs. Andrew Carnegie at her mansion on 90th Street

From the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King
New York City, May 31, 1943

At 4PM, called on Mrs. Andrew Carnegie. [Wife of the Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist.]

She gave me a warm welcome. She was anxious to show me her Victory Garden. We went out together to the little enclosure which lies between 90th Street and her beautiful residence.

I gave her my arm and we walked together around the green path of lawn around a vegetable garden which was where the lawn had formerly been.

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December 2, 2020   Comments Off on Canada: 1943 – Canada’s Prime Minister Visits a New York City Victory Garden

The Victory Garden Comes Back in Montclair

Lily Becker in her Victory Garden. Courtesy Emily Becker

This movement, born of war, continues to inspire people today in the face of the coronavirus struggle, helping families to grow their own organic food steps from their kitchens.

By Jose German
For Montclair Local
May 3, 2020


Montclair is well-known for residents gardening at home to produce their own food. Bob McLean, who moved to Montclair with his parents in the 1920s, told this author he planted his first garden at age 6, “buying seeds with three cents my parents gave me.” McLean passed away in 2011.

McLean’s garden was impressive, as was the quality of his soil. His yard, he said, was eight inches higher than his neighbors’ yards as a result. McLean was a pioneer, and his garden inspired neighbors for decades.

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May 8, 2020   Comments Off on The Victory Garden Comes Back in Montclair

Girl Guides ‘Plant For Victory’ 1943

Created by Ann Rosener
March 1943

Victory Gardens–for family and country. Hopscotch has been supplanted by a new and serious game for these Girl Scouts–it’s called Plant the Victory Garden. Like thousands of other school-age youngsters, Pat Nelson, Doris Laclair and Barbara Redford, all of San Francisco, are enthusiastic participants in the nation-wide Food for Victory campaign. Doris seems to be jumping the gun slightly, but at this stage cookies are more palatable than embryonic cabbages

September 13, 2019   Comments Off on Girl Guides ‘Plant For Victory’ 1943

Rare 1943 Toronto ‘Ontario Hydro-Electric Club’ Victory Garden Publication Found

The final totals recorded “will also be used by us to summarize Hydro’s total effort towards this National Campaign”.

Ontario Hydro-Electric Club
Horticultural Section
April 3, 1943.

Editor: This 32 page booklet contains information for club members on how to grow their own vegetables and herbs, blank pages to document how much they grew, and instructions on how to preserve their harvest. Ontario Hydro was a large corporation with many employees and this publication was part of their work to support the war effort.

They even stated that “any profit accruing to the Club will be used to purchase seeds for Great Britain or for other patriotic purposes”. The organization also helped those who didn’t have sufficient land at home find an allotment. “Any Victory Gardeners in the Toronto area who have not sufficient available land on their own property and are unable to make their own arrangements for additional land …”.

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June 8, 2019   Comments Off on Rare 1943 Toronto ‘Ontario Hydro-Electric Club’ Victory Garden Publication Found

1943 WW2: He Plants for Victory

He Plants for Victory, , provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Canada’s National Film Board Short Animation

This animated short focuses on Mrs. Plugger, who is eager to start her own Victory Garden. Reminding her that tools are hard to get and that neither of them know much about gardening, Plugger organizes his neighbours to cultivate vegetables in a vacant lot. A message about the importance of cooperation and knowledge sharing . . . especially during war time.

May 2, 2018   Comments Off on 1943 WW2: He Plants for Victory

1918: City Troop Take a Food Salient

Feverishly mopping his brow under the shade of the young apple tree is Private Banker, or it may be Private Broker, of the Front Porch Farmer’s Brigade. Little A.E.F. Hard work to left of him, more work in front of him, blisters all over him, but he’s not discouraged. In fact he is going about his job as he goes about all the others created by the war – to get it done quickly, thoroughly, and as happily as may be.

The ‘Tired Business Man”, half a million strong, helps lift, after hours, the labour burden of the nation’s harvest

By E. V. Wilcox
Agriculturist in charge of farm labour, USDA
The Nation
Oct 1918

In meeting the call which was sent out last year for planting a larger acreage and producing more food, the city man and the farmer have been brought into close cooperation. The plan proposed by the Department of Agriculture for city men to volunteer their services as farm hands to save the harvest was accepted with enthusiasm by the city man and with scepticism by the farmer.

And, while the exact number will never be known, it has been estimated that probably 500,000 volunteers, men, women and children, answered the call. In Kansas City alone the volunteers numbered 10,000. In North Dakota, the enlistment was so complete that whole towns were deserted, even government post offices shutting their doors and barring their windows as on holidays and Sundays.

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May 1, 2018   Comments Off on 1918: City Troop Take a Food Salient