Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive

Growing Pains: Victory Gardens and Agriculture on the WWII American Home Front

During World War II the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) produced several short films on victory gardens, nutrition, and agricultural initiatives in an attempt to increase food production for the war effort. These films were created by the USDA Motion Picture Service, one of the earliest film producers for the federal government, to show at USDA events across the country. While on the surface appearing to be basic government instructional and propaganda materials, a deeper look at the history of the home front during the war reveals much about the USDA and the role of women and minorities and the challenges they endured to secure victory at home. The exhibit concludes with screenings of the eight USDA films on this topic held by the Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive. Click through the exhibit to dig deeper into victory gardens!

To watch all of the Moving Image Archive's preserved USDA films, click here.

Women's Land Army member harvesting


Curated by Josh Koepke, Inspired by Julie Wasserman