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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year ending July 1, 1921
Vol. LI (1921)

Kroening, William C., Mrs.
The back yard garden,   pp. 30-34 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 31

kee were those recreations that tended to separate the individual
from the home proper; that in order to make the parks available
it was necessary to have transportation, and many other elements
entered into making it practical to go to the parks. There was no
recreation provided for those older people at home who could
not go to the parks and who would gladly contribute to the sup-
port of the family if they were given a chance. A man seventy
years of age, not able to go into the industrial field, if he could
work in a garden could contribute to the support of the family
without any inconvenience to himself.
Then there were the children with short hours in school, and
from three to eight o'clock out in the streets, and it was necessary
to find something for them to do.
There were so many vacant lots in the city of Milwaukee which
could be used for garden purposes and which were littered up
with tin cans and used as playgrounds for boys, which brought
about broken windows. Some of them were so covered that we
did not know what the soil looked like.
Those were the reasons why the commission decided to go into
gardening, and we went into it, and it was not an easy task. First
of all the objection was raised that anything you can raise in the
back yard you can buy much easier in the grocery than you can
raise it. People do not know the joy that there is in seeing things
come out of the ground, growing day by day.
We tried the question of education in gardening for several
reasons. First of all we felt that gardening was the first prac-
tical occupation of man after he left Eden, and just as the snake
was present there, so the snake is present in Milwaukee in the
shape of smoke, and so on. We have been able to keep snakes
out of the garden pretty well, a few knockers, but the boosters
are the bigger part of the scheme. We decided that the only reason
mankind was out of the animal class was this power of produc-
tion. He was lifted out of the lower class of animals, because
animals may be able to secure food, but I do not know of any
animal that can produce food. He may be able to provide shelter
for himself, but no food, that leaves you and me out of that class.
In reply to the question, "Why do you have a garden," a woman
told me, "Well, if I want to make a bowl of soup, I do not have to
go to a grocery store to buy a bunch of carrots, I just go out to

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