Holyoke Students did their part to support
the war efforts locally. In 1917, a war
garden was established on campus—a
pioneering effort by Mount Holyoke College.
of the Farm & Farmerettes: “Over
600 girls volunteered to perform two
or three hours’ work each week of
the regular session, a figure which was
to 400, first by physical examinations
and later because there was not work
enough for all who survived the first test.
six original acres assigned to the garden
were soon expanded to twelve. Nearly
150 volunteered to serve for a period of
month during the summer, laboring four
hours each week day in the field….three
groups of eighteen or twenty each were
organized for a series of monthly summer
shifts and lived in one of the dormitories
supervised by college matrons who volunteered
their services” (24).
the first year was such a success (they
netted a profit of $64.70!),
the following year the farms’ acreage
was increased from the original six acres
to twenty-eight. The number of students working
the fields increased as well.
Facts About The Farmerettes:
students were paid 20 cents an hour and
paid for up to six hours a day.
They were charged “moderately” for
room and board.
· Mr. Skinner made available unused land of
his own and kept the Sycamores for living
accommodations for ten college volunteers.
A potato crop of 2000 bushels was harvested
for college’s use.
· in 1918, 17,400 cans of vegetables were prepared
in a cannery that was set up.
· Fresh vegetables were available during harvest.
· Winter vegetables were stored for later use.
The efforts of the college and
the farmerettes was considered a great success.
The vegetable garden continued into 1919 “on
a reduced scale merely to fill the empty
cans that remained from the previous year” (26).
really big deal about
the farmerettes efforts was that they acted
in response to
and in cooperation with the national food
administration’s efforts to reduce
the consumption of meat. In fact, after October
of 1917, “in less than four months
5,628 pounds of meat were saved in this way” (27).
happened to the farm? After
the farmerettes' efforts in WWI, the farm
was discontinued. During World War II the
farm was reopened and a new generation of
Mount Holyoke Students became active in the
farming and community efforts on campus.