Victory Gardens

Victory Gardens

What was a Victory Garden? Learn about Victory Gardens though a Grandparent's memories below.

(Did you grow up in the 1940's?  Send us your memories of Victory Gardens and help build the library.)

~ Ray (b.1932) ~

"During World War II, if you owned your own home and had a backyard you could have a Victory Garden. In my neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, we were apartment dwellers and had no backyards so they allowed a large portion of the park for Victory Gardens.

Each Victory Garden was probably about 8 to 10 feet long and 4 to 5 feet wide. They were marked by wooden stakes with string attached which marked off your Victory Garden which was next to many other Victory Gardens.

You could plant whatever you wanted but mostly it was food and most people grew vegetable that were easy to grow such as leaf lettuce, carrots and beets. If you were good at maintaining our garden you might try tomatoes, but those plants are more delicate and much more difficult to grow.

The process was very easy. The ground was dark black soil, you would draw rows with a stick. You buy seeds at the grocery store. Plant the seeds and things grew. You have to water particularly in the summertime.

Even though these Victory Gardens were in the park and anyone could come in, people were honest and would only take the food from their own garden. I do not recall hearing of a single incident of theft. Nor were there incidents where people got mugged or attacked if they were in the park at night as often they were.

As a kid, the park was 3 to 4 blocks from my house. I would walk there by myself when 10-12 years old and take care of my vegetables, pick what was ready to eat and return home."

Did you grow up in the 1930's, 1940's or 1950's? Do you know someone who did?

Our Grandparents Stories is a library of memories of the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. Help preserve history for younger generations to know by sharing your memories to include on the site.  Or record a memory recalled by a grandparent or senior.  Stories can be in writing or on video or audio recording.

To learn more about Our Grandparents Stories, visit the 'Share a Story' or 'About' page. Or contact us directly at

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Victory Gardens

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