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The War Garden Victorious




War Garden Activities of Management and Employes

As soon as America became a belligerent the railroads of the country sought to help relieve the food shortage and the traffic situation by encouraging the cultivation of all vacant lands along their rights-of-way. They called on their employés to plant this unused acreage wherever it might be found. To railroad managers the double value to be gained was quickly manifest. The movement would not only add to the nation's food supply but be an important and direct factor in relieving the demands on the carriers for the hauling of freight. The result was that nearly all the railroad lines ran through gardens of growing vegetables which were soon seen flourishing everywhere, along the tracks, around the cosy little watchboxes of the crossing flagmen and even alongside station platforms.

This is a fine example of what was done by many of the employes of railroads in raising vegetables on ground which formerly had been lying idle. The companies aided by distributing garden books among the men, by placing war-garden posters on bulletin boards directing attention to the value of this work, urging the workers to apply for land, and in various other ways. This scene is at Pitcairn, Pennsylvania.

    The railroads furnished the land to their men free of charge or at nominal rental, and in many cases further assisted them by supplying quantities of seed and by aiding in the preparation of the soil. They placed posters in their stations calling attention to this opportunity for patriotic service, and distributed tens of thousands of copies of gardening and canning manuals furnished them by the National War Garden Commission. The Pennsylvania Railroad alone, on its lines east of Pittsburgh, gave out during the season of 1918 more than 20,000 copies of these instruction booklets. The division superintendents and their assistants acted as the distributing agents. In addition they frequently assisted in other ways in helping to arouse the entire local and community interest in this work. Through the posters, displayed conspicuously on bulletin boards, the attention of hundreds of thousands of other persons besides railroad employés was called to the urgent need of war gardens and of conserving food. Local station agents were also a powerful factor in the work. Not only did they encourage the company employés to engage in gardening but they assisted in other ways to arouse interest.
    As a sample of what the railroads did in this direction, here is an extract from a general notice, signed by R.L. O'Donnel, assistant general manager of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which was posted along all the lines of that road. This was addressed "To all employés of the Pennsylvania Railroad." It said:

    Owing to the interest shown, and the substantial results obtained by employés of the Pennsylvania Railroad in the cultivation of war gardens last year, the Management will renew for the present season the arrangement by which vacant land belonging to the Company may be available to employés for garden purposes, at a nominal rental. . . . All employés who are able to do so, are urged to take advantage of these opportunities by cultivating war gardens this spring and summer, thus assisting our country in the production of food, and also aiding in a very essential manner to win the war. Employés taking this action will, in addition, be helping themselves in one of the best possible ways. It is for just such purposes as these that the Daylight Saving plan was initiated. Last year the employés of the Pennsylvania Railroad lines east of Pittsburgh raised crops of an estimated value of one quarter of a million dollars. Let us endeavor to surpass this good record in 1918.

    Many other railroads deserve special mention for their activity in this line. Among them are the New York Central, the Union Pacific, the Northern Pacific, the Missouri, Kansas & Texas, the Illinois Central, the Atlantic Coast Line, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the Long Island, the New York, New Haven & Hartford, the Missouri Pacific, the Erie, the Boston & Albany, the Delaware & Hudson, the Chicago & Northwestern, the Pere Marquette, the Louisville & Nashville, the Norfolk & Western, the Seaboard Air Line, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul and the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis. The New York, Chicago & St Louis Railroad Company reported that a number of gardens were planted along its right of way in 1917 and that in 1918 all available land was applied for and assigned for this purpose.
    A report from the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway showed that more than 2,100 bushels of seed potatoes were furnished to the prospective gardeners, and that the men not only planted these but bought more for themselves, besides buying seed for other vegetables. The resultant yield was 28,000 bushels of potatoes and other garden products to a value of $15,400. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy reported among other products 3,000 carloads of beans from lands which hitherto had been considered of little value except for grazing purposes.

Some Railroad "Soliders of the Soil"SOME RAILROAD "SOLDIERS OF THE SOIL"
These are Pennsylvania Railroad employes planting potatoes. No class of workers in the country better realized the value of saving transportation by producing "Food F.O.B. the Kitchen Door" than did these men; and thousands of them availed themselves of the opportunity to plant land offered them along the right of way.

    Plans for the continuation and extension of this work in 1919 have been put into effect by the United States Railroad Administration on all the lines over which it has supervision; and in urging the call of Victory Gardens it coöperates closely with the National War Garden Commission. In response to an appeal sent out by J.L. Edwards, director of the agricultural section of the Railroad Administration, replies have been received from virtually all the regional directors and other officials stating that they would promote the movement to the fullest extent possible. A notable example was the reply from B.F. Bush, regional director of the southwestern region. He said: "I wish to state that the railroads in the southwestern region will again do everything they possibly can in permitting their rights-of-way and station grounds to be used for farming and gardening purposes. During the last season this work was handled on practically every railroad in this region with much success and it will be repeated." Alexander Jackson, agricultural agent of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, answered as follows: "We feel that the War Garden is a permanent fixture in practically all parts of our territory where gardening is possible." C.L. Hoffman, agricultural agent of the New York, Ontario & Western, sent this message: "I assure you that I shall do all in my power to have the coöperation of all the officials of our roads in an endeavor to increase the victory gardens of 1919 over the war gardens of 1918." Similar evidences of activity were received from many others.







How the National War Garden Commission Came into Being


The Story of the War Garden


How War Gardens Helped


Types of War Gardens


Uncle Sam's First War Garden


How Big Business Helped


How the Railroads Helped


The Army of School Gardeners


Community Gardening


Cooperation in Gardening


War Gardens as City Assets


The Part Played by Daylight Saving


The Future of War Gardening


Conserving the Garden Surplus


Community Conservation


Conservation by Drying


Why We Should Use Dried Foods


The Future of Dehydration


Cooperation of the Press
  Chapter 19 - Cartoon Illustrations


  "War Gardening,"
Victory Edition, 1919
Cover / Letters / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 31 / 32
More Letters / Back

  "Home Canning and Drying," Victory Edition, 1919
Cover / Letters / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 31 / 32
More Letters / Back

Color Plates

  Sow the Seeds of Victory - Every Garden a Munition PlantWILL YOU HAVE A PART IN VICTORY?

"Every Garden a Munition Plant"

James Montgomery Flagg

  War Garden Victorious Poster - War Gardens Over The TopA Poster Spreading the Idea of Militant War Gardens

Maginel Wright Enright

  War Garden Victorious Poster - Every Garden a Peace PlantA Poster for 1919, Symbolic of Victory

Maginel Wright Enright

  War Garden Victorious Poster - Can Vegetables, Fruits and the Kaiser tooCAN VEGETABLES, FRUIT AND THE KAISER TOO

J. Paul Verrees

A Poster Which Was Used in 1918, and Which, Amended–Following Germany's Defeat–Was Also Forceful in 1919



  We can can vegetables, fruti and the Kaiser too We can can Vegetables Fruit and the Kaiser too