Victory Gardens

Victory Gardens

Heavily promoted by the US Department of Agriculture and the Office of War Information, victory gardens and canning quickly became classic symbols of Home Front sacrifice and patriotism. Illinoisans started early with Governor Dwight Green announcing a victory garden campaign on January 13, 1942 urging all residents to "dig for victory" as "insurance against possible shortages" and to "release foodstuffs for the men who are fighting in the front line." Illinois became the nation's victory garden leader, with 600,000 victory gardens, more than any other state in the country. On the local level, Winnetkans clearly embraced their role as patriotic mini-farmers with 64% of village families operating 2,074 registered gardens in 1943. Supervised by the Winnetka Community House, dozens of children cultivated victory garden plots on Hibbard Road, north of the Skokie Playfields. Schools, individual families, neighborhood groups, and garden clubs all contributed to the food production effort. Produce was preserved for later use and often distributed to local charities and to the families of servicemen. By July 1943, the Winnetka Community Canning Center at the Community House was "putting up" 25 gallons of victory garden produce per day. The local Office of Civilian Defense and local garden clubs gave gardening advice, provided plowing services, and held shows to display the success of Winnetka's many victory gardeners.

The Home Front
Victory Gardens