Essentially frugal Vegetable Gardening

Learning from times when growing your own was necessary

The memory of my Grandfather's Vegetable Garden lingers with me forever. Neatly set out and looking a necessity rather than a Hobby.
Plus, needless to say, a shirt and tie would always be the essential Gardening clothing!

But that was in the 50's, but still not long after WW2 hostilities had ceased and Britain was still under the Ration Book and local Gardeners bartered amongst themselves for eggs, potatoes, tomatoes and whatever else may be abound.
No grand Fertilizer Mixes then, just hard muscle and work, 'Dig for Victory' was still running through the veins of those who were on the Home Front and not The Battlefront.
Garden Tools were made to last and I'm still using Grandads Trowel, Hand Fork, Shovel and Dibber!

In 1940, Britain was on her own. Chased back from the Beaches of Dunkirk (see Blog Article HERE), we were reforming, rebuilding and fighting many Battles overseas.
Soldiers had to be fed as did their families. The growing and distribution became a major part of the war effort and the Government were on the button with some appropriate Posters.
'Dig for Victory' with the man holding his spade in Army fashion was the word - and the word was 'win'!
Everyone had a part to play. Women joined 'The Land Girls', Men 'The Home Guard' and everyone else was urged to dig up the flower beds and plant vegetables.

A lot of people formed their own little communities, sharing and bartering their vegetables thus ensuring  a reasonable healthy diet.
Chickens were like Gold dust, their real eggs far better than the powdered egg supplied under rationing. Real Egg wise, you were originally allowed one egg per fortnight and in summer, up to 4.

Where am I going in this? It's really to say that when someone says "Oh, Richard grows his own vegetables, isn't that great" - It's not. Maybe I do out of some frugal necessity, but it's not clever atall. People for centuries have done it. It's only in the past 60 years or so that a Vegetable Garden isn't a natural part of the Household.

If we can eat better, eat more healthily, be happier within ourselves, we can use the examples given down to us in so many documents, film and books. Just a read of some Home Front Books will show us that it's easy when you know how, it just takes a bit of physical work which some find difficult. There again, it's physical exercise and worked correctly, can actually do us good and keep us in trim!!

The famous Pie named after The Minister of Food, Lord Woolton...


This pie was named after Lord Woolton, the Minister of Food. The vegetables could be changed
according to what was available at the time.
500g Potatoes
500g Cauliflower
500g Swede
500g Carrots
1 tsp Marmite
259 0atmeal
4 Spring onions
750g Potatoes
25g Cheese

1. Dice and boil 500g of potatoes, cauliflower, swede and carrots in salted water.
2. 2- Strain the vegetables, and save 200ml of cooking water.
3. Arrange the cooked vegetables in a large pie dish.
4. Add the Marmite and oatmeal to the vegetable water and boil until thickened.
5. Pour the thickened liquid over the vegetables.
6. Add the chopped spring onions.
7. Boil and mash the remaining potatoes.
8. Top the pie with mashed potato and a little grated cheese.
9. Heat the pie in a moderately hot oven until golden brown (approximately 1 hour).
10. Serve with brown gravy.

Hop Picking in Kent with required clothing

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The Vegetable Year
Pages written by my good friend John Harrison



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