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- War Gardens Association (Saint John, N.B.)
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The War Gardens Association of Saint John, New Brunswick, was part of the community gardening movement which developed during the First World War to increase food production for the war effort. In February 1918, the Canada Food Board was established. Its function was to secure the largest possible quantity of food for the armed forces and the civilian population in Europe by way of increased production and conservation of food in Canada.
The executive of the War Gardens Association consisted of a president, vice-presidents who represented each sector of the municipality, the Regent Brunswick Chapter of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, and the president of the Y.W.P.A., a treasurer, committee chairs and a superintendent. The president of the Association was T.H. Estabrooks, founder of the Red Rose Tea Company, and the superintendent was William Macintosh. He was the Provincial Entomologist for the Department of Agriculture and instructor of science and nature study, 1907-1932; full-time curator of the Natural History Society, 1907, and later became director of the New Brunswick Museum.
Individuals who had no garden space or who could cultivate more land than they possessed, were given plots to cultivate for the war effort. Members of the War Gardens Association paid a 25 cent registration fee. There were over 500 members, including 51 members who had no gardens at all. Seventy-three businesses donated from $2 to $20 to the Association fund.
Garden plots or allotments were lent to members for cultivation. The privilege of cultivating an allotted plot could not be transferred to another person without the Association's consent; use of the land was loaned for the season or until required by the owner and the whole of the plot was to be cultivated; and the plot must be kept weed free and all rubbish removed at the end of the season and the quantity of the crop grown to be reported to the War Gardens Association. Failure to comply with the rules gave the association the right to cancel the membership and take over the plot. The War Gardens Association office was located in central Saint John and was open daily from late April.
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This fonds consists of membership lists, correspondence, a report, a map of plots, postcards and printed ephemera. The membership lists are categorized by size of plot, area cultivated, and lots wanted. The typed report, dated February 1919, includes statistics on membership by category but is incomplete. A map of plots on Hawthorne Avenue is included.
There is correspondence with seed companies, and citizens requesting vegetable seeds. Correspondence from the Department of Agriculture, Office of the Food Controller, and the Canadian Government Seed Purchasing Commission is included as are letters from the Experimental Farm at Fredericton, N.B. and the Motor Vehicle Board. Included too are invoices for equipment and supplies.
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