After my grandmother’s funeral, my family members and I were sitting around a table listening to my grandfather, Jim, share stories about his youth. My grandfather told us about Victory Gardens he and his family had, growing up in rural Illinois.
During the war everybody, well not everybody, had Victory Gardens. If you had a little patch of land you’d make a garden. You had a garden. You had lettuce. You had fresh tomatoes.
There was this open field and me and my brothers would just dig the garden out every spring. Spade it, you know? And my dad would make the garden. That leaf lettuce, when it comes up it’s so good.
Oh my dad had a chicken coup too. I hated going in there! Them chickens were mean. And the roosters were the worst! Them roosters were really mean. And they stink too!
My grandfather’s story reveals what life was like during World War II. One practice during the war were these Victory Gardens. From his story, we can garner that many people maintained these Victory Gardens in order to reduce the pressure on the public food supply. The name of these vegetable patches suggests that they provided families with a sense of empowerment because they allowed anyone with a patch of land to become a part of the war effort–though my grandpa remembers the freshness of the vegetables and the mean roosters most.