Victory Gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defence, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom during world wars one and two to reduce the pressure on the public food supply. Much of the domestic commercial food produced was reserved for the armed forces. Planting a garden was one way that civilians could contribute to the war effort at home. At the height of WWII, some 20 million Americans were cultivating Victory Gardens, which accounted for nearly 40 per cent of all vegetables being consumed in the U.S.
Posters for Victory
Posters such as this were part of the publicity for a campaign by the government, to encourage the use of homegrown foods. These gardens were considered a civil moral booster, in that citizens felt they were aiding the war effort. Creating and maintaining a garden became a regular part of life on the home front.
The Badger Army Ammunition plant–built at the onset of WWII–located between Baraboo and Sauk Prairie in Sauk County, WI, erected a residential subdivision across the highway from the plant known as Victory Heights. Workers at the plant could rent modest apartments for their families. Victory Gardens were encouraged and land was provided to accommodate those with green thumbs.
SCHS Victory Garden As part of the Sauk County Historical Society’s theme for 2009, “Sauk County at War”, we have planted a Victory Garden on the lawn of the Van Orden Estate. It is being utilized as a teaching tool for visitors and school groups. Feel free to inspect the fruits (and vegetables) of our efforts.