We love the 1950's, but we must remember what came before. The Homemaker of the 1950's, particularly if she were older, would always remember the lean war years. Today, in our Vintage living and our Green lifestyles, there is much to learn from these times.

"It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required"-Winston Churchill

victory garden

Both in Britain and the USA, we were encouraged to grow a Victory Garden. Particuarly in Britain, when food was cut off, they could literally only eat what they could grow. So , soon, lawns and ornamental flower beds were made over into gardens. Vegetables weren't rationed but they were not easy to come by, so you grew your own as much as possible.

This Poster says it all, even for today.Why not be thrifty and with the modern concerns of chemcials and such in our produce as well as their being genetically modified, it seems our solemn duties, as Apronites, to at the very least grow some tomatoes and potatoes in buckets on the deck and some herbs on our deck railings or window sills. Once you get the Gardening bug, you will begin looking around you and seeing all the possible places that could be working for you in growing your own. And then you get the joy of canning and preserving your own as well. It really is a win-win.


The proud wartime gardeners are Growing for Victory.

Modern applications:

Here is a Brooklyn NY urban garden.I'd call this a victory garden. We don't need plots and acres of land. And what a great way to USE plastic instead of just recycling it as that chemical process is actually fairly harmfull as well.

And here is another modern Victory garden where you literally just take some of your suburban lawn to grow your foodA patch of lawn is a waste. It is more rewarding and smarter to take some of that lawn and make it work for you. Look at your lawn and imagine if you took just 1/4 of it to grow your own.

There are so many ways to grow your own. Even if you do not have one inch of ground to use or you just aren't ready to try the 'digging for victory' yet, why not a bucket garden. This version literally, hangs on a wall or fence and does not need to even touch the actual ground!



This is wonderful, growing potatoes in a bucket. You know when you have left your potatoes too long in the pantry and they sprout their little nubs. As those grow and lengthen, each little node on each of the sproust will make an entire potatoe. Think how many potatoes you could get from just one! And, if there is a particular potatoe you like at the store or is expensive, get those, but them in a dark closet and wait a month and you will have some ready to grow. Here is a video on growing them this way.



Victory Gardening to me says, use your brains and solve problems of shortages or to improve a way that is not working. Now, we could hardly, as small private gardeners, do what this community is doing, but I thought it was worth including. They took a problem of decreasing fish population in Lake Michigan and combined it to create fish for the table as well as veg. This solution may be the small steps we can make to start taking control, on local levels, of our food back. To say we don't want genetically engineered or chemically grown and challenged animal and fish in our families diet or our community. Just a very interesting solution.



Here is a fun and free EBOOK link to view this book online. Click HERE. (just click on any of the table of contents to read that section, interesting facts and photos)

Recommended Books. Just click on book to buy.

Great Book for all around small backyard Gardening

canning and preserving


(links to recipe page and vice versa)





keeping chickens

When a typical ration per one adult was one egg per person per week, the natural solution was to keep chickens. During the war special ration coupons were even given for chicken feed. It really made sense, as you would have fresh eggs and of course, if you chose, fresh meat.

Chickens began appearing everywhere even in the citites.

Raising chickens under fire is everybody’s business in “Hell’s Corner.”
Eggs are scarce in wartime Dover. Almost everyone keeps a hen house to supplement the three-a-month egg ration. This flock occupies a once fashionable flower garden facing the seaside promenade.

We are also beginning to understand today, that chickens are an important part of the gardening cycle. As we begin to view gardening not as simply planting and harvesting, but a cycle of compost, life, death etc, a chicken is a wonderful part of that. Their droppings are great fertilizer and work in the compost. They can be feed a large part of their diet from weeds and will even help you as a natural pesticide (when you can let them free range, which if you are an urban gardener, you cannot, but all the weeds you pull and all your organic kitchen scraps, yes even their eggshells, go back to them for feed.)

If you have not considered it or have been curious about it, do think about keeping chickens. Even three hens in a small space can really provide a good amount of eggs for a small family and their are wonderful to watch and great to share with children. Really, being an Apronite, is trying to have the whole package, the pretty dresses, the smart attentive mine, and the ability to grown and harvest what we then can cook! We can be the new renaissance women!


Recommended Books (click on the image to buy) or check out all of our Chicken Keeping titles HERE.


Storing food/root cellars

A special storage bin built into the corner of the cellar.

Saving Energy

Fuel Rationing-how it can help us today as well.

Make do and mend



Mrs Sew and Sew

Clothing rations

66 “points” for clothing per year, in 1942 it was cut to 48 and in 1943 to 36, and in 1945 to 24. In 1945, an overcoat (wool and fully lined) 18 coupons; a man's suit 26-29 (according to lining); men's shoes 9, women's shoes 7; woollen dress 11.Children aged 14–16 got 20 more coupons. Clothing rationing points could be used for wool, cotton and household textiles. People had extra points for work clothes, such as overalls for factory work. No points were required for second hand clothing or fur coats, but their prices were fixed. Before rationing lace and frills were popular on knickers/underpants but these were soon banned so material could be saved. Similarly turnups or 'cuffs' on trousers were banned to save material.



Frankeln Roosevelt made this comment about the women who served in the armed forces during WWII.

"Those of us who have seen and know the work they are doing throughout the military establishment of our country and in our foreign stations have only admiration and respect for the spirit, the dignity, and the courage they have shown."

During WWII, over 6 million women took wartime jobs in factories or filling in for men on farms, 3 million women volunteered with the Red Cross, and over 200,000 women served the military. In the days after December 7th, 1941, "Remember Pearl Harbor" became a battle cry for all of America as it entered World War II. It created fear on two coasts, with Germany looming on one doorstep, and Japan looming on the other. By the summer of 1942, men disappeared almost completely from the work place, having been drafted or enlisted into the US military. Rosie the Rivetor quickly stepped into take his place.

With men being shipped overseas by the thousand, women were needed to step in to fill factory jobs, as well as to beef up hospitals, and even lend a hand to the military.

Women volunteer organizations such as the USO sprung up to lend a bit of home to soldiers as they traveled from base to base and less formal groups of women volunteered to perform various functions such as man draft boards and host welcoming parties in small towns across America. But soon, it was obvious that with casualties mounting in both Europe and the pacific, women would be needed for more than just safe secretarial jobs. Women pilots known as WASP ferried aircraft and performed flying duties around the US so that more male pilots could help the war effort, while Army Nurses found themselves landing on beaches called Anzio and Normany and flying in evacuation "hospital" planes across enemy territory. Navy Nurses served on naval hospital ships in the pacific ocean, often within range of Japanese dive bombers. In the newly formed Women's Army Corps, WAC packed parachutes, while in the Navy, Waves operated Links trainers and inspected aircraft to help male Navy pilots take the skies.

raising rabbits for food (yesterday and today)


There is a resurgance in this small hold farm. Besides low cost healthy meat, with the increase in hormones, chemicals and even the ill-treatment of animals on large corporate farms, rabbits are a great alternative to even urban dwellers.

Here is a tip from this great modern website HERE on rabbits as food.

Rabbitry 101: Mark Pasternak on Raising Backyard Bunnies

“If you are already raising chickens—raising rabbits on a small-scale would be really easy,” he says. Pasternak suggests that the average DIY farmer should start out with one male (buck) and three does (female). He advises against having more than one male at a time because adult male rabbits are aggressive and territorial. A rabbit’s gestation period is extremely short, only 30 days from conception to birth. Consequently, if you mated one buck and three does, you could have up to six litters a year, but four litters is much more likely. Each doe should deliver anywhere from six to 10 bunnies. With three does, Pasternak reckons you could supply yourself with a substantial supply of meat over a year.

Pasternak has three basic rules for the urban homesteader:

  1. Be careful not to have too many female rabbits breeding at the same time.

  2. Dispatch the offspring before they are old enough to reproduce (three months).

  3. Make sure you have a lot of rabbit recipes. (See Chris Kronner)


war time info and photos