On April 12, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson called upon Americans on the home front to help fight what would become known as World War I. In response, many Minnesotans turned to backyard gardening to increase their food supply. Homegrown vegetables filled pantries and stomachs and allowed “citizen soldiers” to conserve wheat, meat, sugar, and fats that were essential for U.S. troops and their European allies.
Photograph postcard depicting a shipment of butter produced by Farmers Cooperative Creamery in Milaca, c.1915. Minnesota farmers expected to produce goods for a market, and came to use cooperatives like this one to control the prices they received for their goods. Photograph by O. L. Palmquist.
Engraving of a bonanza farm printed in the November 1, 1879 edition of the Independent Farmer and Fireside Companion (page 174). The image celebrates the commercial possibilities of large-scale, mechanized, and systematized wheat farming in the Red River Valley.