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Pitch in and Help! Learn about the Women's Land Army

By Anthony Todd in Food on Sep 30, 2010 4:00PM

Women's Land Army.jpgDuring World War 1, the Women's Land Army recruited women to help stem farm labor shortages, brought on by large-scale male enlistment in the armed forces. Many of us know about the "Victory Garden" movement of World War 2 (and if you don't, the folks at the Peterson Victory Garden will help you to learn) and everyone learns about "Rosie the Riveter" in school, but fewer people are familiar with this woman-focused World War 1 effort to keep the nation fed.

Elaine Weiss, a prominent journalist, will be giving a talk on the Women's Land Army next Tuesday at the University of Chicago. The talk is sponsored by a number of important sustainable food organizations, including Slow Food Chicago and the Chicago Botanic Garden, as well as the Jane Addams Hull House Museum. Many of the volunteers for the Illinois training farm, near Libertyville, came from the University of Chicago, and the Center for Gender Studies at the University of Chicago is also sponsoring the event.

In addition to helping to feed the nation and allowing women to contribute directly to the war effort, these efforts also exposed farmers to formal training, which would eventually begin to change the way agriculture was conducted throughout the state. The organizers claim that it "laid a foundation for today's sustainable food movement." We are eager to hear more.

The event is free and open to the public, and will be held at 1010 E. 59th Street, on the University of Chicago Campus. The event starts at 6 p.m.