Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort.

In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster,” in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown.

Canned foods were rationed in the U.S., but the poster campaign, “Plant more in ’44!,” to plant a victory garden was answered by nearly 20 million Americans. These gardens produced up to 40 percent of all the vegetable produce that was consumed in the nation.

Ideally, if home-front urbanites and suburbanites could produce their own potatoes and carrots, mass-produced potatoes and carrots could be in larger supply, purchased more cheaply by the War Department (saving pennies for bombers and tanks) and sent overseas to feed the troops. “Our food is fighting”, one poster read.

Today the war is on high prices of food brought on by high gasoline prices. So, let’s dig out the bicycles and turn our lawns and open fields into victory vegetable gardens. Stop the high prices in their tracks. We can either do something about it or sit around and be defeated by doing nothing, like our state and federal government are currently doing. The choice is ours.

Phillip E. Webber Sr., Sabattus