Second World War: Victory Garden

Victory gardens were a common sight during the Second World War. One woman's victory garden was attacked by Japanese beetles.

| Good Old Days

Housing was difficult to find around Army camps. During the Second World War. My husband was stationed at Edgewood arsenal. We were staying in a rooming house, sharing the bath with many other people, and cooking our meals after the homeowner was through with her kitchen. 

I accompanied a friend to see the apartment she was going to move in to. A beautiful three-story home had been converted into five apartments. The owner stored all his furniture on the third floor. I loved the big maples in the yard and the bay windows in the house. I asked the woman in charge if I might put my name on the waiting list. She said I'd be about number 20.

Seeing my friend's dog the woman exclaimed, "You didn't tell me you had a dog. I can't have a dog in here." Turning to me, she asked if we had a dog. I assured her we didn't. "Then you can have the apartment," she said.

Although we didn't have any furniture, I paid the rent right then. We moved in a day or two later. It was here that we had our first victory garden. Each tenant was given several rows in the garden to plant and work vegetables of his choice. I grew up in the country, and the gardening was fun for me. The couple next to us was from New York City, and they had a lot to learn.

About the time the snap beans were ready to pick, Japanese beetles moved into the garden. Overnight they ate all the leaves off the okra stalks. Bare stems were thick with beetles the next day.

My husband got orders to be transferred immediately to another camp and our garden was forgotten.

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