New York’s 1940s ‘victory gardens’ yielded a whopping 200 million pounds of produce

Posted On Wed, September 28, 2016 By

Posted On Wed, September 28, 2016 By In History

During the Second World War the United States (and other European nations) experienced significant food shortages, as the majority of the country’s food supply was being sent overseas to aid in the war effort. In response, government organizations encouraged citizens to plant “victory gardens” to help ease the burden. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson said “Food will win the war,” and launched through the Bureau of Education a United States Garden Army. The program, funded by the War Department, began in 1943 and urbanites living in New York City collectively grabbed their shovels to adorn the bare concrete streets with a far more plentiful kind of landscaping.

vgjohnalbokrockcenter1943

victory_garden
In total, the city had roughly 400,000 victory gardens occupying 600 acres of private land. As hard as it may be to believe today, there was a victory garden planted along Park Avenue, while another one flourished uptown on Riverside Drive. A third sizable garden was located in Midtown, spreading is leaves in the shade of the Chrysler Building.

victory-garden-nyc-chrysler-building_

The effort spanned across all boroughs and urban gardens popped up wherever there was space, including in empty lots on Ludlow Street, Upper East Side apartment terraces, and open spaces throughout Queens and Brooklyn.

It was recorded by Amy Bentley and Daniel Bowman Simon in their book about victory gardens, Savoring Gotham: A Food Lovers Companion to New York City, that New York’s amateur farmers yielded 200 million pounds of vegetables—the largest being tomatoes, followed by beans, beets, carrots, lettuce, and Swiss chard.

In addition to growing food, victory gardens provided the added benefits of boosting morale and creating communities throughout the United States.

Images courtesy of the Library of Congress

RELATED:

Tags :

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Steven Gambrel turned a Park Avenue apartment into a sophisticated playground for pastel colors

    Steven Gambrel turned a Park Avenue apartment into a sophisticated playground for pastel colors

    When one thinks of a sprawling Park Avenue apartment, what comes to mind is typically muted colors, clean lines, and ...
  • Weekly highlights: Top picks from the 6sqft staff

    Weekly highlights: Top picks from the 6sqft staff

    Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen list uber-stylish Tribeca loft for $3M Jeanne Gang reveals sparkly new renderings of High Line-hugging ...
  • Plans for SHoP’s 10-story wooden condo tower squashed

    Plans for SHoP’s 10-story wooden condo tower squashed

    SHoP’s proposed wooden tower has gotten the axe, reports The Real Deal. The wood high-rise which was slated to rise along 18th ...
  • RAH:DESIGN employed modern home-building techniques to design this cool dog house

    RAH:DESIGN employed modern home-building techniques to design this cool dog house

    While there are many doggie-abodes on the market, the designers at RAH:DESIGN found themselves struggling to find something that fit with ...
  • J.P. Morgan’s 120-year-old ‘Great Camp Uncas’ in the Adirondack wilderness reduced to $2.7M

    J.P. Morgan’s 120-year-old ‘Great Camp Uncas’ in the Adirondack wilderness reduced to $2.7M

    A standout even among the region’s Great Camps, the secluded Camp Uncas was built in 1895 by Brooklynite William West ...
  • FREE RENT: A roundup of NYC’s latest rental concessions

    FREE RENT: A roundup of NYC’s latest rental concessions

    FiDi’s 180 Water Street Announces March Opening; Now Leasing No Fee Rentals + One Month Free [link] Renovated Apartments at ...
  • A slew of new residential developments are headed for the Rockaways

    A slew of new residential developments are headed for the Rockaways

    February is too frigid to fantasize about the Rockaways’ wide white-sand beaches, but the playground peninsula is hot for a different ...
  • Every NY Times front page since 1852 in under a minute; Brooklyn’s evil eye mecca

    Every NY Times front page since 1852 in under a minute; Brooklyn’s evil eye mecca

    Disney Research created a new technology that can wirelessly power an entire room and charge devices. [Travel + Leisure] Ellen DeGeneres ...
  • Glamorous modern condo inside a historic Bed-Stuy townhouse asks $855K

    Glamorous modern condo inside a historic Bed-Stuy townhouse asks $855K

    Talk about an apartment with good bones. This modern condo was carved from the historic four-story townhouse at 347 Gates ...
  • The Urban Lens: Will Ellis explores the relics and ruins of Staten Island’s remote edges

    The Urban Lens: Will Ellis explores the relics and ruins of Staten Island’s remote edges

    6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. ...
  • Ivanka Trump’s Park Avenue starter pad, still without a buyer, gets a rental price chop to $13K a month

    Ivanka Trump’s Park Avenue starter pad, still without a buyer, gets a rental price chop to $13K a month

    As 6sqft previously reported, Ms. Trump and husband Jared Kushner, now senior adviser to President Donald Trump, first listed their apartment ...
  • South Harlem community board wants brokers to stop calling it ‘SoHa’

    South Harlem community board wants brokers to stop calling it ‘SoHa’

    Harlem’s gentrification and increasing real estate prices aren’t news at this point, but a local community board thinks certain real ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.