Women's Land Armies: Events with Elaine Weiss



  • elaineweiss.com
As men shipped out to fight in World War I, one of the responsibilities they left behind was maintaining the nation's food supply. Women's "land armies," composed of "farmerettes"—and organized before the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote— coalesced to fill the gap. Journalist Elaine Weiss covers the topic in her new book, Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War. Weiss swings through town next week for a series of appearances where she'll discuss various themes of the book: gender, local foods, and urban gardening. She'll focus in particular on the Illinois chapter, led by Jane Addams, which established a training farm in Libertyville. Find more information here; highlights are after the jump.

Tue 10/5 at 2:30 PM, Weiss visits the Chicago Botanic Garden to talk about the role women played in the Chicago Horticultural Society, including laying groundwork for the founding of the Botanic Garden. She's joined by Angela Mason, the Botanic Garden's director of community gardening. 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, $29; register here. At 6 PM, Weiss talks about the role of suffragettes—and U of C students—in the Libertyville training farm. University of Chicago Center for Gender Studies, 5733 S. University, free; register by e-mailing golson@uchicago.edu. A book signing follows both events.

Wed 10/6, a 5:30 PM talk by Elaine Weiss at Jane Addams Hull House Museum focuses on the role of Jane Addams in the land armies movement; it's followed by a 6:30 PM soup dinner and discussion on "the past, present and future of women, farming, and food security." 800 S. Halsted, free; to RSVP, call 312-413-5353 or e-mail ksuzanne@uic.edu.

Thu 10/7 from 12:30 to 3 PM, Slow Food Chicago hosts Weiss at a harvest lunch "much like that which the Land Army women would have enjoyed circa 1918"—that is, a meal of local foods prepared by women. At the lunch, held at the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy, Weiss talks about the Libertyville training center and shows footage from a 1918 land army tractor-driving demonstration. 25200 St. Mary's Rd., Libertyville, $30; register here.

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