Detail View: World War I Collection: Mobilize the country-home garden

Collection Name: 
World War I Pamphlets Collection
Mobilize the country-home garden
Name Part: 
Brown, Roscoe C. E. (Roscoe Conkling Ensign), 1867-1946
Type of Resource: 
Place Term: 
New York
Division of Intelligence and Publicity of Columbia University
Date Issued: 
2d ed
Internet Media Type: 
6 p. 20 cm
Digital Origin: 
reformatted digital
by Roscoe C. E. Brown
Subject Topic: 
World War, 1914-1918 -- Food supply
Subject Authority: 
Subject Topic: 
Subject Authority: 
HD9000.6.U5 B76 1917
Related Item: 
Columbia war papers ser. 1, no. 3
Related Item: 
Columbia war papers ser. 1, no. 3
Related Item: 
Columbia University.
Related Item: 
Intelligence and Publicity Division
Identifier ARK:
Physical Location: 
University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries. Archives Dept.
Location URL: 
Access Condition: 
The organization that has made the Item available believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information.
Co \v p Columbia War Papers Series i Number 3 Mobilize the Country-Home ps. Garden by Roscoe C. E. Brown SECOND EDITION New York Division of Intelligence and Publicity of Columbia University 1917 \jy> \ * ^ < PUBLIC LIBRARY OF THE CITY OF DENVER. UNIVERSITY PRINTING OFFICE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MOBILIZE THE COUNTRY-HOME GARDEN The most inexcusable of Idle A cres is the fertile and tended acre that fails to con- tribute its share to the nation s staple food supply at a time of national need. The ideal of No Idle Acre is not easy to attain. Everyone knows the necessity of increasing the food supply of the United States and its Allies for the win- ning of the war. But how can individual effort be made availabe for their service? Many land owjiers who would be glad to do " their bit" are confronted with the lack of labor. Efforts must be undertaken to recruit armies for the farm, to organize men and boys for agriculture as a work of patriotism. But there is a large field for increased production without any new organizations, without any recruiting of additional forces, by the mere turning of available land and available labor to the work of commercial food pro- duction. That field is the garden of the country estate, be it large or small. In the suburbs of all our cities are a great number of summer homes, small and large, in which gardens are maintained. They have not been cultivated for profit to any considerable extent. They have furnished veg- etables for the tables of their owners, but rarely have they been cultivated with the idea of getting the ut- most possible yield. In a large measure, they have 4 Columbia War Papers Ser. i been playthings, and their addition to food resources has been incidental to their pleasure-giving power. Now is the time for a change. Let every garden be used to its fullest capacity for the production of staple foods. If need be, let the flower-garden be neglected, as well as the fancy borders. Let the gardeners of the great estates give their attention to beets, cabbages, beans and potatoes. Let the owner of the small cot- tage garden who generally expects to grow a few bushels of potatoes for his own use, grow a few bushels more for the general use. Let the owner of the large estate who has kept his garden simply to supply him with winter luxuries in his city home, now see to it that his land produces a surplus. These suburban and country estate gardens have always been capable of producing much more food than they were ever called upon to raise, without sig- nificant increase in labor. Their production was not limited by soil capacity or lack of labor, but by lack of demand. A considerable part of the produce of the average family garden goes to waste. The owner in the past has not cared to sell what he raised, and even if he has wanted to, he has not found it easy to reach a profitable market. That must remain true in the matter of perishable vegetables. It may even re- main true so far as money profit goes in the matter of staples. Nevertheless, it is perfectly possible to add to the national stock of those staples, without added ex- pense for the owners of summer-home gardens, by merely conserving the land and labor already em- ployed to their fullest extent for the production of food. No. 3 Columbia War Papers 5 The problem of bringing such supplies into the market will doubtless be met by organized effort as the need arises. The immediate problem is the larger planting at this season. The product can be handled when it is grown. But the work of production must be begun at once if a year is not to be lost. Most gardeners can render a great service by in- creasing their potato output. Alarming shortage in that crop has brought suffering even in time of peace. The prospective shortage in the wheat crop empha- sizes the need of doing everything possible to stimulate the production of other staples which may supplement the bread supply. Potatoes meet that requirement. Moreover, they are the staple crop best adapted for most gardens. Grains cannot be profitably culti- vated in small patches, but every available garden plot turned to growing potatoes will add just so much to the common food supply. Owners of country estates who have gardeners in their employ should awake to their duty and their opportunity in this field. The owners of the small gardens should realize that they, too, can be of great service. Much is said about vacant lot farming. It is likely to waste more than it raises, because most va- cant lots are not in good condition, and those who will attempt to cultivate them lack experience. However, if every existing garden already in a high state of cul- tivation is worked to double its usual staple food pro- duction, or even to increase it 25 per cent., a significant contribution could be made to the reserve food supply of the country. Many small contributions to that 6 Columbia War Papers Ser. i supply will make a vast aggregate. We are too forget- ful in this land of wholesale operations of the value of the small units in making up the aggregate of our produce. Even if the home garden only relieves the drain on the usual commercial sources of supply, it will help to solve the country's problem. But, it can do more than that. Each plot can add its ten or one hundred bushels of potatoes to the common stock, its ton of cabbages, its load of beets or turnips. And if thousands of gardens will make this contribution, the national commissary can be made to overflow. The most inexcusable of Idle Acres is the fertile and tended acre that fails to contribute its share to the na- tion's staple food supply at a time of national need. Columbia War Papers A series of pamphlets on the problems and duties of American citizens in meeting the national needs in the present world con- flict, published by the Division of Intelligence and Publicity of Columbia University, Walter B. Pitkin and Roscoe C. E. Brown, Editors, Columbia University in the City of New York (Tele- phone, Morningside 1400). Series I No. 1. Enlistments for the Farm. By John Dewey. A message on how school children can aid the nation. No. 2. German Subjects Within Our Gates. By the National Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor. Some notes on the possibilities of internment. No. 3. Mobilize the Country-Home Garden. By Roscoe C. E. Brown. v An appeal to the owners of country estates. \ No. 4. Our Headline Policy. By Henry Bedinger Mitchell. An appeal to the press to recognize in their news presentation our unity with our allies. No. 5. Deutsche Reichsangehorige hier zu Lande. Vom National-Ausschuss fur Gefangnisse und Gefang- nisarbeit. Bemerkungen iiber die Moglichkeiten der Internierung. Zwei- sprachige Ausgabe (Englisch und Deutsch) von Nummer 2 oben. No. 6. Food Preparedness. By H. R. Seager and R. E. Chaddock. A survey of the basic facts in the food situation. No 7. How to Finance the War. By Edwin R. A. Seligman and Robert Murray Haig. An attempt to construct an equitable program for loans and tax- ation. No. 8. Farmers and Speculators. By B. M. Anderson Jr. A discussion of prices as a stimulant to production and of the uses of speculation in war finance. No. 9. A Directory of Service. Compiled under the direction of John J. Coss. Tells how and where to enlist for different kinds of work for the Country. <' No. 10. City Gardens, By Henry Griscom Parsons. Practical instructions for the use of small city plots. No. 11. Bread Bullets. By Roy S. MacElwee. Concerning agricultural mobilization in the United States. No. 12. Rural Education in War. By Warren H. Wilson. How to organize high-school boys for farm work. {Others in Preparation.)