Victory Gardens History – Purpose and Victory Garden Contest

Below is a copy of an article that ran in the Edible San Francisco during the winter of 2007.

It details Amy Franceschini’s interest and goal to get the Victory Garden program started again.

San Francisco artist Amy Franceschini seeks to reinvent the victory garden for a new age.
by Tara Austen Weaver

The year 1941 was not so different from today. Then, as now, our country was at war. Troops, supplies, and funds were being sent overseas. But there is one crucial difference: in World War II, citizens were more personally involved in the war effort. They bought war bonds, women went to work in factories, and families across the nation ripped out their lawns and flowers in order to grow food. Propaganda posters of the era proclaimed, “Plant a Victory Garden: Our Food is Fighting.” Within two years, 20 million families had responded to the challenge. Victory gardens were dug in backyards, outside businesses, in vacant lots, and on civic land such as the Boston Commons and Golden Gate Park. By 1945, such gardens were supplying 8 million tons of food—40 percent of the domestic food supply.

Now, more than six decades later, Amy Franceschini hopes the time is ripe for a new sort of civic gardening effort. A visual artist and University of San Francisco art professor, she has launched a pilot program called Victory Gardens 2007+.

The last I had heard the Victory gardens 2007 project was still going but the free seeds they were giving out and other garden accessories to start a garden were out of stock.

Victory gardens serve a useful purpose. They extend history and honor our service men. They promote healthy living and fresh food. It’s an excellent program. The Gardener’s Rake will be hosting a Victory Garden Contest and Community Garden Contest starting Monday February 4, 2008. There will be no hidden fees or costs. It’s just a contest to promote Victory gardens and gardening. Check February 4 for contest rules.

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