Home gardening for town children, 1919.

“A garden for every child, every child in a garden.”

—–The motto of the United States School Garden Army

Michigan State University has preserved a large number of primary sources from the United States School Garden Army:

At the advent of World War I, the Bureau of Education within the Department of the Interior, with funding from the War Department, created the United States School Garden Army (USSGA) to boost the concept as well as morale. […] To support this program a series of documents were written and distributed.¬†¬†Among these were at least 15 USSGA Manuals and Guides, and 17 School Home-Garden Circulars. The target audience was urban and suburban boys and girls, ages 9 through 15, and their teachers. The subjects covered growing vegetables from seed, growing flowers, building hotbeds and coldframes, organic matter and soil health, regional guides and others. As well as primary sources of gardening information from 1919, these guides are still applicable to the teachers, parents and young gardeners of today.

From an archived¬†pamphlet (I’ve transcribed the text of the pamphlet below and highlighted a few particularly interesting sentences):

United States School Garden Army
Department of the Interior
Bureau of Education, Washington

Home Gardening for Town Children

Leaflet 1, November 1, 1919

by P.P. Claxton
Commissioner of Education

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