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Save money – sow seed!
2:50pm Sunday 29th January 2012 in Grow Your Own
We ask – can you really keep cash from seed sowing We’re all aware of the joy of pulling freshly grown veg from your own garden but sometimes we wonder whether it can actually save us money. Yet a couple of generations ago, people had no doubt and in some cases, no choice, having to grow their own vegetables if they were to make both ends of the family budget meet. The iconic “Practical Gardening and Food Production in Pictures” published as part of the “Dig for Victory” movement but equally important in the lean years of rationing after the war, gave many examples of gardeners and allotmenteers successes including the moving story of a colliery worker who used his unemployment time as an opportunity to extend his growing. They say, “What can I expect from my ten-rod allotment plot?” (That’s about 250 square metres or 300 square yards) The answer, said Practical Gardening and Food Production, is that such a plot if systematically cropped will provide enough to feed a small family (remember this is the 1940’s so we can assume that is at least two children and mum and dad) for two thirds of the year. By planning for the whole year at the time you place the seed order, you will have no further worries…… It is planning before action that will give you a good yield from our allotment. They even give a cost factor from the estimated yield and say that the cost of the vegetables produced, if grown in a shop would be £13 9s 9d (pre-war prices) and the cost of seeds, potatoes, farmyard manure, fertilizers and rent of allotment is £2. 7s 0d. These figures do not need translating to current money to see the amount of money saved!
And then they give one of the best pieces of advice that are as true fifty years later as they were when they were written.
“A good rule to follow in cropping an allotment is to grow crops that are dear to buy and quickly perishable. For reasons of health also this advice is valuable. There is a world of difference between a crisp lettuce freshly picked and one that has traveled from grower to market, from market to retailer and retailer to purchaser”
To read more - buy February Smallholder on sale now and also look out for the Seed Collection on offer for only the price of p&p
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