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Sow for Victory: Bringing Back the Victory Garden

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Let's take a little field trip back to 1943. Go ahead and hop in those time machines! We’re going to explore the day and age when the world was at war and our food supply was in peril.

American Life in 1943

Think about this: The average family in 1943 was living on $29 a week. Food staples were rationed out to families in order to provide for the troops. As you can imagine, fresh fruits and vegetables were in short supply. In order to keep the nation from starvation, the U.S. Government encouraged folks to help out in any way that they could. Propaganda posters popped up in every town urging families to plant 'Victory Gardens' to provide their own produce.

Over 20 million American families took up the call for 'victory.' They collaborated with friends and neighbors and took control of their own food supply. Even schools got involved in the cause by planting gardens in schoolyards to provide supplemental food for school lunches. The number of canning supplies sold more than quadrupled from 1943 to 1944.  Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged her fellow citizens by planting a victory garden at the White House in 1943.

The plan was a wild success across the nation. As the National WWII Museum website indicates, "By 1944, Victory Gardens were responsible for producing 40 percent of all vegetables grown in the United States. More than one million tons of vegetables were grown in Victory Gardens during the war."

FORTY PERCENT of all vegetables? Holy moly! Can you imagine if we did that today??

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