Photo of the Week: Brooklyn Gardens

Students Tending Victory Garden, 1943, 2014.019.17.01.006; Packer Collegiate Institute records, 2014.019; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Students Tending Victory Garden, 1943, 2014.019.17.01.006; Packer Collegiate Institute records, 2014.019; Brooklyn Historical Society.

One of the best parts of spring in Brooklyn is the reward of endless produce options from the farmers market or grocery store to your local CSA or community garden. According to NYC Parks, community gardens account for 100 acres of public open space in the city. The photo of the week depicts Packer Collegiate Institute students tending to their Victory Garden on campus during the spring of 1943.

During World War II, the government initiated a food rationing program as part of the war effort. To supplement rations, civilians were encouraged to grow their own Victory Gardens.  Nearly 20 million Victory Gardens were planted and accounted for 40 percent of all vegetable consumption by 1943. Packer Collegiate institute students and faculty contributed their own Victory Garden to this movement (seen in the photograph above). To learn more about Packer during wartime and the fascinating history of the school, be sure to check out the BHS curated site, The Packer Collegiate Institute: A Story of Education in Brooklyn.

The photo of the week is from the Packer Collegiate Institute records collection comprised of administrative records, architectural records, Board of Trustee records, student and faculty records, publications, photographs, and memorabilia pertaining to the college from 1780-2016. To view more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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