Victory Gardens

Grown from the Past Exhibit Images

Although skeptical at first, the Federal government came to support Victory Gardening efforts in communities across the country, as seen in this poster from c. 1941-43. Herbert Bayer, artist. Library of Congress.  

When the United Sates entered World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, many Americans participated in a grassroots effort began to rekindle the patriotic liberty gardens of WWI.  At first the federal government was skeptical of supporting these efforts like they had before. Officials thought large-scale agriculture was more efficient. However, citing the health, recreational, and morale-boosting effects of gardening, the government again supported a national gardening campaign during World War II. 

Reports estimate that by 1944, between 18-20 million families with victory gardens were providing 40 percent of the vegetables in America.

Following the victory gardens of WWII, however, there were fewer community-focused gardening projects. The United States experienced unprecedented suburban growth and many gardeners opted for the privacy of the backyard.    

Grown from the Past Exhibit Images

A citizen working on Sunday morning in his Victory Garden, Oswego, New York, 1943. Library of Congress.