On April 1st, 1940 the British Minister of Food announces Dig for Victory campaign to encourage growing food at home.
Reading that note reminded me of my parents’ garden. They would have laughed at the idea someone had to suggest growing a garden. They would also have laughed at how clean the gardener on the poster looked. When we came from the garden, we used to be covered w/ dust that had caked onto the sweat running down our faces and arms. (If it wasn’t blowing dust, it was dirt from the broken, rock-hard clods our brothers threw while they were supposed to be helping weed or harvest something. They knew after hitting one of us girls hard enough, we would scream for them all to get out of the garden.
Even with little help from those demons, I know our garden had to have been one of the largest in Sedgwick Cnty---Kansas. I wasn’t born until after the War, but we still cultivated the huge plot my grandparents had previously. In it we grew enough to feed our family of 14 (eventually) and half the neighbors thru the winter---and Mom practically gave the produce away. We picked bushel after bushel of green beans and had to pile at least another ¼ bushel on top. . . “because they’ll settle by the time folks get them home and we don’t want anyone to feel we cheated them.” We charged $1.00 a bushel ---if the people could afford it. The $$$ was put in a jar for new shoes and clothes for school.
Mom was pregnant so much of the time she worked in the garden---had 4 Dec. babies/ 1 November/ 1 October/ 2 August & 1 July. Can you imagine bending over rows of vegetables w/ a “big belly” as she always said, in the heat of the summer! No wonder she was “a little cranky” at times!!! Then we had to prepare and can all that “shit”. We all cussed those vegetables all summer, “but they will taste mighty good this winter!” was Mom’s constant admonition.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of Mom working in the garden. That is sad because she spent so much time there. My mother passed away five years ago today---April Fools Day. We all said that the day spoke volumes about her sense of humor until the end.