During World War II, Americans were encouraged to help the war effort by growing their own produce in backyard Victory Gardens. Victory Garden posters were produced to encourage this civilian effort, and the campaign worked! In 1943, more than 40% of all fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. were grown in home and community Victory Gardens.
Some 70 years later, Victory Gardens are making a comeback as Americans fight a new battle with the COVID-19 pandemic. And thanks to an entrepreneurial West Seneca resident — who also happens to be a lifelong gardener — Victory Garden posters are also poised to make a triumphant return.
Jackie Albarella shares gardening tips on WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., is a professional photographer and owner of a small media company called Albarella Media. She has authored four books, including “Dirty Tricks in the Garden,” and hosts a website called The Gardenville Gazette.
“The pandemic has been a trying and exhausting time, with many daily activities cancelled,” said Albarella, “but gardening is not cancelled. The spring flowers are blooming, trees are bursting forth with their buds and soon it will be time to start planting our vegetable gardens.
“Growing your own food can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have and share. It is easy, doesn’t take a lot of money or a lot of room, and everyone can be successful.”
Victory Garden posters encouraged everyone to grow their own food so commercial growers could provide food to the troops during World War II. In addition, trucks and shipments were focused on the war effort, so everyone was encouraged to grow more of their food closer to their homes.
To encourage the return of Victory Gardens to sustain families and help our environment, Albarella has reproduced 10 of the iconic Victory Garden posters as 11 x 14-inch arts prints produced on high-quality photo paper, suitable for framing. Each print is priced at $20 and includes free U.S. shipping. The posters can be viewed and ordered at www.jackiealbarella.com/posters.
In addition to encouraging the return of the Victory Garden, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each poster will be donated to FeedMore WNY, the nonprofit organization formed through the merger of The Food Bank of WNY and Meal on Wheels for WNY. Need for the organization’s services have increased dramatically since the onset of the pandemic.
“With Earth Day celebrated on April 22, now is our time to act. We can plan gardens that will sustain us, help sustain the environment and celebrate our own victory over these dark days,” said Albarella. “With so many restrictions in place due to the pandemic, I think gardening is going to be huge this year. Additionally, there’s a growing trend with young people who want to grow their own food, so the timing for the return of Victory Gardens and Victory Garden posters is perfect.”