Friday, August 10, 2007

Low Food Miles The New Dig For Victory?

From very early in World War 2 it was recognized that “farming was as important as arming” if Britain was to stand any chance of winning the war. The toll taken by U-Boats on merchant shipping had soon began to mount, which was behind someone having the bright idea of the ‘Dig For Victory’ campaign. It was a simple notion that encouraged everyone to use any spare piece of land, and especially allotments, to cultivate vegetables. It was the perfect way to supplement what would become an increasingly worrisome diet that shortages would impose on Britain.

As early as October 1939 the slogan began being touted, and the philosophy was seen as a huge opportunity. The BBC was central to the strategy - being the most effective way not just to communicate ideas but also to inspire people in all sorts of creative ways; by the spring of 1940 ‘Digging For Victory’ was everywhere. Activities were launched right across the country and at local events speakers urged people to give over “a few square yards of garden to the cultivation of potatoes which would produce 45 times as much human food as the same square yards of pasture.” This was one of the great triumphs of the war on the Home Front, and by 1943 it was estimated that over a million tons of vegetables were being grown in Britain’s gardens and allotments.

“Today we begin a new Dig for Victory campaign. The successful Dig For Victory campaign this autumn was one of the best answers to Hitler’s attempts to damage our overseas food supplies and interrupt our communications we must try to rope in every single person.”

BBC Spring 1940

So how long before we go in for a Dig For Victory campaign to avoid importing food from around the world at the alarming rate we do? We should all, wherever possible, be a part of the low food miles campaign.


ian russell said...

I'd quite like a Dig for Victory campaign. we had an allotment once before and seriously looking at doing it again.

David Ross said...

Interesting thought Mr Havers,

“Today we should begin a new "Dig it for Low Food Miles" campaign. A campaign this autumn could be one of the best answers to eventually reduce our overseas food supplies and we must try to rope in every single person.”

Havering On, August 2007

Plagiarised, but why not it is ever so sensible.

There are quite a few organisations that would benefit from such a campaign and may even sponsor it?

The campaign meme might even be "Food for thought" and the campaign song could be 'Digging my potatoes ?

r morris said...

It's amazing what a country can do when united with a common purpose. The question is, "Do we have the will any more, or have we become to selfish?"

Richard Havers said...

David and Rob

I think the selfish gene is the most difficult barrier here. Added to that the 'how does an organization make money out of it' conundrum....

Liz said...

My daughter is getting an allotment in September. She is very excited and has bought lots of seeds ready.

Richard Havers said...

She must be really excited by that. I've always thought the idea of an allotment is appealing because of the camaraderie that seems to exist between the allotted ones.

r morris said...

What is an allotment? We don't have this in the US.