early part of the last century most people suffered very hard
times, food was scarce and costly, especially fruit and
vegetables. It was a time of extreme worry for those with families,
not only did the father have his daily job to go to, but many
were desperate to find other ways to provide food.
Many people converted part of their
gardens, which was dug up and specially cultivated for potatoes,
cabbages, runner and broad beans, tomatoes, and many other kinds
Local councils in city's, towns, and
villages around the country provided the ground, where those who
wanted to grow their own food was made available.
For those who loved the outdoor life,
especially growing their own produce, the gardeners of England
were in a world of devoting themselves to a piece of land, a small
patch of ground that they lovingly called their “allotments”.
They sprang up in every place, the
allotted land was soon being dug by those who had found a new
interest, wanting to taste the luxuries of what they had spent
so much time and effort in producing.
The allotment began to grow in favour
for all those who liked to get-away from their homes and wander
down to their piece of “hallowed” ground, where they
they dug the soil, planted and watered the seeds, soon to relish
in the pleasure and satisfaction of the newly growing plants.
This was a little piece of England
they could call their own, families would wander down to their
allotments at the weekend, share the joy of gardening together,
have a picnic and a day out in the sunshine, relaxing and enjoying
all their hard work.
The slogan which gave the English
the motivation and the necessity to produce their own food came
during the second world war.
Britain depended heavily on America
and Canada to supply them with armaments and food, as dozens of
ships in a convoy left the safety of their ports and headed across
the Atlantic ocean, they were met with the feared and dreaded
“wolf-packs”of U-boat submarines, who hunted the convoys
down relentlessly ready to pounce and destroy them.
They stood very little chance during
the crossing, Allied ships were being sunk in their thousands
of tons weekly, tens of thousands of crewmen lost their lives,
it was becoming nothing short of a complete disaster, food supplies
were disrupted and Britain feared they may well starve if something
wasn't done soon.
Many ships made it through the U-Boat,
wolf-packs and food supplies were occasionally getting through,
but certainly not enough supplies to feed the people of
England marooned on this tiny island, it was becoming very serious.
Everyone in wartime Britain was a
little hungry but no one starved, the Government took drastic
action, the slogan they announced soon became a household name
for all those that were determined not to let Hitler win.
This tiny island was a fortress in
itself, but the food situation was worsening daily, so food production
became a top priority.
The slogan on billboards across the
nation heralded the words “Dig For Victory” signalling
the nation to rise up and keep the country's food stocks full.
At Buckingham Palace the Queen Mother
took delight in assisting the country in its “Dig For Victory”
Princess Elizabeth and her sister
Princess Margaret began to cultivate the grounds within the palace
for growing vegetables, encouraging everyone throughout the nation
to accept the task that they were demonstrating by their example.
More or less every piece of ground
in the cities across Britain was dug-up and vegetables were grown.
London itself saw its beautiful gardens and parks ploughed-up,
soon thousands of men and women were busily cultivating the very
ground and growing vegetables, where once perfect lawns and grass
It was a country under threat, in
the farms and fields across Britain, farmers were assisted by
a force of over 80, 000 of the Women's Land Army, who ploughed,
milked, fed the animals, planted corn, wheat and barley, grew
every kind of vegetable, and harvested all the crops, in a combined
and determined effort to increase the country's home food production.
They worked from the early hours until
late at night, bravely facing all the adverse weather conditions
that this country is known for.
The farmers and especially the Women's
Land Army, accomplished nothing less than a “miracle”
in helping to keep the country fed.
In our time too, the 21st century
there are those who now believe that growing their own produce
is not only “fashionable” but a necessity.
This is the first time since the second
world war that Buckingham Palace has now decided to grow its own
vegetables within the grounds, setting the example to the nation
once again, that we can all participate in this by encouraging
our families to enjoy the products of our labour and grow our
On the other side of the Atlantic,
President Obamah's wife has already dug up part of the Presidential
lawn at the White House to grow her own food, with her newly cultivated
ground she intends to grow an organic kitchen garden.
This will also promote the benefits
of home-grown food, healthy eating and self sufficiency, coupled
with making every effort to protect the environment, her message
is clear to all those across the country, hopefully many will
follow her example in growing their own vegetables.
Thousands already in this country
are willing to support the “growing movement”, for
those living in tower blocks who have no garden are not put off,
they too are growing vegetables in flower baskets and window boxes
along the balconies of their high rise apartments.
It seems that the country is now fully
aware of the benefits of home-grown food, healthy eating and helping
to protect the environment.
With the ever increasing prices for
vegetables soaring sharply it will certainly give us all a very
good reason to get our forks and spades out, get digging and planting,
then we can all say that we...”Dug For Victory”.
But for all those who now “grow
their own” the greatest satisfaction and delight is when
they tuck into those freshly picked, crispy mountains of vitamin
packed vegetables and succulent salads...that they have grown