Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 8: Valuing Victory Gardens

I was hoping that today's good thing would be the conclusion of another chapter on the book. However, I am not yet finished with it. The chapter I am working on is "WWII & Post WWII Agriculture." Here in LA, agriculture was forever altered as thousands of acres were gobbled up for houses that were built for the workers of the burgeoning aircraft industry. While LA County managed to remain the #1 ag. County in the U.S. until 1950, we transitioned to become the aviation capital and one of the biggest industrialized urban centers in the country.

But I digress into something sad and my goal with this blog is to find something positive each day. So, in the midst of writing about this era, I am also writing about the Victory Garden movement, one of my favorite topics. I am such a fan of Victory Gardens, that over the past decade, I have collected/bought about 15 WWII era Victory Garden booklets/pamphlets, etc. I am hoping to photograph them and use them in this chapter.

While researching this chapter I came across something I had never heard about before. I discovered that the Los Angeles Times had a Victory Garden Club. It began in February 1943 and by April of that year, 18,000 people became members and by October, there were 25,000 members. They put in a demonstration Victory Garden on Wilshire Blvd. and Shatto Place and a one-acre Victory Garden Center on Adams Boulevard divided into 12 model gardens and that had a garden library and lecture room for Victory Garden classes and gardening tools on loan to class members, all for free. The center was open seven days a week and the classes were held in conjunction with the Los Angeles Board of Education. They also held a Los Angeles Times Victory Garden Harvest Festival in Exposition Park in 1943. There was even an Office of the  Victory Garden Coordinator, located at 808 N. Spring Street.

And farm nerd alert: my screen savers are WWII era Victory Garden and Women's Land Army posters, here are a few of my favorites:


  1. I love those posters, especially the bottom one. I remember my mom talking about Victory Gardens. I'm a big Old Time Radio fan and it is interesting to listen to the old shows and hear the advertisements suggest the best ways to use your ration points (of course by buying what they sell!)

  2. I love them too! And, I have a collection of original Victory Garden pamphlets and booklets, with similar ads and of course published by the different companies, including Standard Oil (Chevron)who of course were pushing their "new" chemical pesticides!