Increased anxieties over contemporary crises such as climate change are generating interest in urban agriculture in Australia. The connection between suburban food producing environments and the urban environment is complex and often misunderstood. The food system is multi faceted and frequently intersects with economic, political and cultural aspects of society. By looking at historical events, we can see how the important connection between food and cities was once well understood and appreciated.
This paper explores the historical importance of food in cities by demonstrating the actions of the Australian government to promote urban agriculture during the Second World War in response to a crisis in food supply. Overall, we argue that during the Second World War home vegetable gardening was used as a performative action for salvation during a time of national distress. Further we argue that by imagining this historical example and replacing it within a contemporary context, we are potentially able to calibrate and contextualise urban food growing as a response to climate change.