Victory Garden

Grow-Your-Own-1945-72 dpi


When war began in Europe in 1939, the Department of Agriculture used its “Food for Defense” programs to encourage increased production to help our European allies.  After Pearl Harbor, this became “Food for Victory,” and County Extension offices all over the country promoted home gardening with posters and informational talks.  With canned foods rationed and other items like wood, paper and metal needed for war production, “growing your own” ensured adequate nutrition on the home front and more food and supplies to the war front.  A Victory Garden was also an important way for those at home, including children, to feel part of the war effort.  The Victory Garden movement would eventually grow to more than 20 million gardens and account for 40 percent of all vegetables grown.

The Hancock County Extension agent visited the Island in April 1942 to talk about Victory Gardens.  In May 1942 the Hancock County Extension’s monthly newsletter, “The Farm Bureau News,” featured “The Garden for Victory Family of Four Plan.”  It listed the recommended vegetable varieties and amounts to feed a family of four for a year.  The vegetables grown here are the same varieties recommended in 1942.  A list of these varieties, with seed sources, is available on the next page, as well as in the Archives.

Garden for Victory:  Family of Four Plan

More and better farm and vegetable gardens are needed this year. A successful garden requires careful planning and much care and attention. People who have suitable land and the "know how" can contribute to the war effort by growing a good garden for themselves, and by helping others. 

The following garden plan for a family of four may be used as a guide. If it is a good garden, you should have a lot of vegetables to can and store for next winter.  Order seed, fertilizer, and insecticides, and be sure to secure plenty of good tomato plants as soon as possible. 

from Hancock County Farm Bureau News; Vol XXV, May 1942, No.5

Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society ✦ P O Box 652 ✦ Deer Isle,  ME  04627 ✦ 207-348-6400