Friday, 3 April 2009

Digging For Victory

The wartime Dig for Victory campaign is just as appropriate now as it was during the Second World War. I have always grown some of the food that we eat. The varieties and the quantities have changed as my life has changed, but the urge, the need to be able to provide something fresh, untouched by chemicals and produced only a few feet away from my kitchen has always been strong and in recent years has grown stronger and stronger.

I have always wanted to be able to have an acre of land to play with - room for livestock, room to grow some of their feed and room to expand the varieties and types of food and vegetables that could be produced for us to eat.

But as the years have passed and my dream remains unfulfilled, I have to get to grips with the fact that I have to make the best of the space that I have. I cant tell you how much growing room I do have - I need to measure up properly and then I can establish a more realistic growing plan than the adhoc one that I have used for the past couple of years. With inter cropping in the flower beds I probably have more room that I think I have.

Chickens I really do want to have, but the difficulty is that with me and Himself working away from home so much, most of the care would fall onto my son who lives at home with us, and whilst he is keen to go ahead, Himself is holding fire a little longer. I'll keep working on it.........:-)

Over the past couple of years I have already planted in the garden 3 apple trees, 2 pear trees, a plum tree and a cherry tree. We also have raspberries, strawberries, a red gooseberry, a red currant, a blackcurrant, 3 blue berries, a blackberry, 2 grapevines, 3 rhubarb and a kiwi fruit. The pears, kiwi and cherry have not yet fruited, but all the others have. We have had lovely fresh fruit and the surpluses have been made into jams and pie mixes.

Vegetables grown so far over the past few years have included early potatoes, peas, runner beans, french beans, onions, beetroot, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, spring onions, radishes, garlic, sweetcorn, swede, broccoli and cabbage - although none of these bar for the beetroot and cooking onions have been adequate to see us through to the next growing year.

So this year is planned as a year of change and improvements to what, how and the amounts that we are growing, however the added difficulties that being away from home for work I do see as a problem, but I think part of that is me being a little negative because I want to be at home....not out on the road or stuck in a hotel when I would rather be in the greenhouse !

So this weekend as we are going home (hurrah!) I want to take some photos of the growing areas (deepbeds) and work out my planting schedule for this year. I'll try and draw out the plant in a readable format and post it on the blog early next week.

Many of my veggie plants are already in the greenhouse, being watered or drowned depending on amount of time that number two son has when he goes down with the watering can. Other veggies are being lovingly tended down here on site by me - the subcontractors think it is hilarious that there are trays of seeds sitting outside their canteen and that up in Himself's office on the window sill, is my propagator complete with seed trays. I have caught Himself twice this week already, lifting the lids to peek inside and see if the little green shoots have broken the compost yet. He makes me smile when he is caught, He always tries to make out he is checking if the tray needs more water.....I know he is really quite excited and cant wait to see what comes up first.

So, with a bit of luck, we should be home about 8.00 tonight (traffic depending) and by 8.10, complete with a cuppa I shall be inspecting the greenhouse. Bliss, sheer bliss.

Remember, Dig for Victory - your own personal food victory ! It is just as important now, if not more important, as we wander through these uncertain times of financial difficulties, job losses and peak oil issues. The more that we as individuals can do for our selves, the more in control of our own food productions and destinies we become.

Have a good weekend, and if you can, get out in the fresh air and plant something, even if its just a pot of herbs for the window sill.


Gavin said...

Great post Babs. I could not agree more. Now more than ever is it the best time to dig up that lawn and plant as many vegetables as you can fit. It doesn't matter how much land you have either. Just growing whatever you can helps with your own personal victory!

Anonymous said...

Great post... and so true! We are planting veg next weekend... only a few to start with, but I have high hopes!