Victory Garden Page from The Mill Whistle, February 28, 1944
This excerpt from the newspaper, The Mill Whistle, entitled “Victory Garden Page” discusses and encourages the readers to plant and grow their own victory garden. This article was published on February 28th, 1944 during World War II. The Mill Whistle newspaper was founded in Spray, North Carolina, about a 40-minute drive from Chapel Hill today. Despite the geographic distance, this article tells a significant food story that relates to Chapel Hill during the Wartime Food Era.
The article discusses rationing, a practice across the nation during the War, which certainly also affected Chapel Hill’s foodways. The excerpt encourages readers to plant their own garden with seeds in order to save food ration points. Additionally, it proposes ordering chicks to raise chickens as a source of poultry and eggs. These two specific suggestions highlight a change in household food procurement customs as individuals began to plant and grow produce instead of purchasing it from the store or market. This shift created a larger role for homemakers and cooks to be a part of the food growth process from the very beginning, as seeds, to cooking and serving. Furthermore, the article goes on to say that “using less of the foods needed for war is a small price to pay for victory,” thus considering food rationing to be a national duty during the war.
Based on this excerpt, it is clear that individuals in the Chapel Hill area had to learn to plant and grow victory gardens, thus adopting a more comprehensive role in the food system during the wartime era. Food rationing during World War II sparked a shift in the foodways, encouraging individuals to become more resourceful and creative as cooks, homemakers and citizens.
“Victory Garden Page.” Digital image. North Carolina Newspapers. Accessed November 7, 2018. http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/2015236906/1944-02-28/ed-1/seq-5.pdf.