Austin Organic Gardeners presents Digging into the History of Victory Gardens
Austin Organic Gardeners continues to celebrate their 75th anniversary as the oldest organic garden club in the U.S. with guest speaker Anastasia Day, The Historian in the Garden. She will be digging into the history of Victory Gardens, which happens to be a large reason for the formation of AOG in 1945.
In 1943, the backyard plots, community gardens, and industrial easements cultivated as Victory Gardens produced 42 percent of the fresh produce United States citizens consumed in that year. As many as two-thirds of all U.S. citizens participated in making this wartime movement the most successful local food movement in American history. Popular memory cites Victory Gardens as historic inspiration for sustainable, grassroots food activism today, in contrast to the corporate agribusiness and processed food industries of the 21st century.
In addition to digging into the history of Victory Gardens, members will also be transforming the demonstration beds at Zilker Botanical Garden into a side-by-side Victory Garden with designs from 1945, the year AOG formed, and a more modern 2020 Victory Garden.
Day is a history doctoral candidate and Hagley Scholar in Capitalism, Technology, and Culture at the University of Delaware. She is a historian of environment, technology, business, and society, themes that collide uniquely in food. Her dissertation is entitled “Productive Plots: Nature, Nation, and Industry in the Victory Gardens of the U.S. World War II Home Front.”