This letter is from someone at the Asheville Board of Trade to John Lucas, Secretary of the North Carolina Food Conservation Commission, describing gardens grown by children. During World War I governments had to make sure citizens and soldiers had enough food, and in the United States people were encouraged to grow their own gardens and to ration, or consume less, of certain items.
To: Mr. John Paul Lucas, Secretary,
North Carolina Food Conservation Commission,
Raleigh, North Carolina
The history of the movement is pertinent. Early in the year the Civic League (Women) and the Parent Teachers Association agitated for Home Gardens, and secured appointment by the City of Mrs. S. W. Ray as Supervisor of the work. Then Superintendent Howell of the Schools reported to the Board of Trade that there were many children desirous of Gardening who had no available space. The Board of Trade thereupon appointed a Committee to cover the situation. Subsequently Judge Glenn conceived and put in to execution the plan of putting his juvenile offenders on gardens. These three organizations were subsequently consolidated for executive purposes, and administrative authority was concentrated in one individual who was able and willing to devote to the project the very large amount of time required.
Meantime, in the schools, applications for garden space were circulated, signed and presented to the executive. These stipulated that the applicant should do a fixed number of hours work per week and were accompanied by parent or guardian’s consent.
Tools and seeds remain to be considered. Most of the school children supply their own. Those who cannot apply to the Supervisor, are given orders for the items needed, which, when presented at certain shops are honored in kind, and charged against the Executive Committee of the Association;
With the School Gardens we use a plot 20 x 30 as a basis, and assign one or more to a child according to conditions, and by conditions I mean age and strength of child, available arable total area, and in some cases previous experience or where there are small children in a family, too little to have a plot but desirous of helping an older brother or sister. Up to this morning there are 68 plots actually assigned and under cultivation some 20 more ready for assignment, and many lots making a total area of about four arable acres as yet unturned. This for the schools.
[End of letter]
Citation: Page, H. A.. “NC Foods Cons. Comm.:Received Correspondence.” May 17, 1917. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/Documents/Detail/nc-food-cons.-comm.-received-correspondence/557938?item=557946. Accessed 21 August 2023.
- Why was the letter written? What does it tell you about North Carolina’s war efforts on the home front?
- What details does the letter give about school gardens? List three findings.
- What was expected of children in the summer as described in the letter? Based on your response, what impact did the war have on children in North Carolina and the United States?
Inquiry: a question
Cultivation: improvement of the the growth of a plant or crop by labor
Pertinent: relating to the topic; relevant
Subsequently: later in time; afterward
Consolidated: brought together in a single whole
Executive: main leader or group of top leaders of an organization
Stipulated: explained conditions of an agreement
Arable: land suitable for growing crops