BACK UP THE CANNON
BY USE OF THE CANNER
|By CHARLES LATHROP PACK,
National War Garden Commission
stand with our backs to the wall." That call to the civilized world,
made by General Haig in the spring of 1918, has brought and still must bring
answer from the women. Only by their cooperation has it been possible for
that call to be answered, for no nation can do a great work unless the women
of that nation put their influence into the job.
We were forced into a war which was something more than a war to
decide policies or mark boundaries––a war involving the most sacred
questions with thick men and women have to deal––the sanctity of womanhood,
the sacredness of childhood and the right to live in freedom. We could not
yield these rights while we had the strength to defend them.
In the emergency created by this war the question of food goes hand
in hand with thrift. Our position has been no less closely involved in the
conflict than that of Europe. In proof of this let me call attention to the
plan the enemy had for us. I quote from a book called "War," by Klaus
Wagner, published in 1916 in Berlin. On page 165 the author says:
"Not only North America, but the whole of America must become a bulwark
of German Kultur, perhaps the strongest fortress of the Germanic
races. That is every one's hope who frees himself from his own local
European pride and who places race feeling above his love for home."
Mark that well––his race feeling above his love for home; and then
let me quote one of the thousands of letters received by the National War
it is, from a boy:
"I have decided to help win the war by having a war garden, and I
have just read your notice than any one can have a free garden book. Please
send it to me. My father joined the army in 1915 and was killed in
1916.––Harvey Cameron, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia."
That boy is typical of the boys and men of many nations who have
been fighting against the common enemy. If they could look the job in the
face that way, what can we do? Our boys have been giving their lives toward
the achievement of victory. Every mile of reclaimed territory in devastated
France and Belgium adds hundreds of hungry mouths to be fed. With France and
Belgium liberated many more people have become dependent on this country's
food supply. In victory we must feed not only more millions abroad but also
care for our own people at home and our soldiers until they return. Peace
cannot mean an increase of the world's grain supply for another year at
least, and it will take several years of bountiful crops to refill the empty
bins and granaries of the world.
Victory, therefore, must necessarily bring a large increase in our
obligation. We must not only produce food as close to the kitchen door as
possible, but we must save a vast volume of this food for winter use. To
save it we must can it, dry it, or otherwise prepare to have it in readiness
for the months of non-production. Canning and drying, therefore, are as
imperative to-day as if the war were just beginning.