WAR GARDENING MANUAL
As a result of emergency created
by war the home garden of America has become an institution of world-wide
importance. The planting and growing season of 1918 demonstrated that the
products thus raised are essential to the feeding of the people of the
United States and the Allied Nations. Under the impetus given by the
National War Garden Commission the people of this country last year produced
a crop valued at $520,000,000 in gardens cultivated in backyards, on vacant
lots and on other land previously untilled––the patriotic gift of the war
gardens to the nation.
Peace can in no wise diminish American's responsibility
for feeding Europe. The recovery of vast areas of devastated country in
France and Belgium greatly increases the number of people to be fed and adds
heavily to the food burden of America. Because of this the Victory Garden is
no less necessary than the War Garden.
WAR GARDENS HELP SOLVE TRAFFIC PROBLEM
| War-time brought
the most serious traffic congestion the United States has ever seen. This
condition has no meaning more significant than that the gardens of this year
must do even more than those of 1918 in freeing the overburdened railroads
from the need for transporting food products. With food shortage threatening
the Allied Nations and with railroad congestion as an added factor, the war
garden results of the coming season must be considerably greater even than
the vast yield of last year.
Excellent results are obtained through
co-operative gardening work. If several families join forces they can reduce
the cost of gardening in time, labor and money. Families having adjoining or
neighboring garden plots may use one set of tools. To prevent clash of
convenience it is well to have an understanding in advance as to the time
when each gardener is to have the use of particular tools. By this
arrangement it is possible to have complete eqquipment at expense much less
than if each gardener bought his own. Money can also be saved in buying
seeds, fertilizers and spraying materials by clubbing together and gaining
advantage of the lower prices for large lots.
One of the advantages of doing community work is that
it is possible for the gardeners interested in the project to employ a man
and a team to prepare their gardens by plowing and harrowing. In this way
the man and team can be kept busy throughout the day and the expense to each
gardener will be slight.
|On a larger scale this
principle should be applied to garden plots on tracts of vacant land
allotted to individuals in or near cities or towns. Each plot in such a
tract is a separate garden, belonging to the individual or family to whom
allotted. In many instances the municipal authorities, the mayor's war
garden committee or some similar local organization, will provide an expert
to supervise work on community gardens of this character. This expert will
give advice and instructions as to preparation, planting and cultivation and
on other technical subjects.
If an expert is not provided in this way it is wise for the
gardeners to club together and arrange for one at their own expense, if the
project is large enough to make this possible without too great individual
cost. The help of an expert is of great value.
School children and parents may work together to good
advantage on these garden plots. In some communities school authorities
allow the children to spend a portion of the school hours, on stated days,
in their garden work. Through co-operation with street cleaning departments
a municipal government may arrange to deliver manure to war gardeners at
nominal cost. In at least one important city this is done at a charge of $2
It is a good plan for municipal governments to arrange
for lectures at school houses or other places on practical problems in
gardening. This increase efficiency.