"Of Course I Can!" Poster
SHSND# USGPO-1944-O-643470The committee organized after a council held in Bismarck on March 8, 1943. At the meeting, attendees decided on the organization from the Governor’s office to the town level, and determined to make an effort to involve schools and civic groups. They stated that “it is the patriotic duty of everyone to grow a garden.” The committee ordered a survey of suitable vacant lots for gardening in cities. The emphasis on cities suggests the committee was confident that farm families were already accustomed to gardening and that city residents would need some encouragement and perhaps access to garden plots in order to comply with their patriotic duty. Block leaders and Neighborhood War Service Leaders (NWSL) would help families locate vacant lots or community gardens.
The 1943 report also linked home gardening to rationing. If rationed commercial canned goods were to be available in adequate numbers, home gardeners would have to substitute home grown vegetables for commercial products.
The role of the extension agent was to distribute literature (through the extension office) and to speak on local radio programs in support of home gardening. NWSL were to contact every farm family about growing a garden. They also distributed Bulletin 175 Produce for Victory and Special Circular Number 1 Victory Garden Varieties.