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Wartime Farm

(Originally posted:  18th July 2015.)

Over the past few days, I’ve been re-watching Wartime Farm.  I first saw the series when it was broadcast in 2012 in my pre-gardening days.  I remember sitting knitting, watching while the weather was wild outside and thinking: ‘Wow!  So that’s what it was like.’  I was fascinated.  And it sowed another seed towards my becoming a gardener.

Looking at it again, now as a gardener, it still fascinated me as I noticed new bits of information.  But what really stands out for me now is the contrast between then and now.  Through the Second World War, Britain had to grow her own food.  Imports were strictly limited as ships were requisitioned and convoys lost at sea.  Today?  Today it’s cheaper for me to buy a pint of imported UHT milk than to buy it from a local farmer.  And, not surprisingly, our farmers are going out of business.

I don’t just think this is wrong, I think it’s tragic.  I don’t claim to understand how we’ve come to this.  No doubt decisions have been made for good reasons and for bad down through the intervening decades.  The arguments don’t matter so much to me.  What does matter is the big question:  What do I do now?

So I’ve made a decision … I’m going to start buying British.  No, I’m not going to stop buying bananas.  And, yes, Gouda cheese should come from Holland.  But milk, eggs and ham?  The UK is perfectly capable of producing her own and that is what I will buy.

I started during the week when I did a grocery shop and realised I can’t afford British ham in ASDA because it’s only available in the premium ‘Extra Special’ range.  I stood and fumed at the shelves before choosing British cheddar for my lunches instead.  So, yes, I’m going to have to make changes and, yes, I’m willing to do so.

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9 thoughts on “Wartime Farm

  1. Good for you!

    We have been doing this too. We are lucky in that around where we live there are a lot of small measure producers. One of the guys at the place where the wife works has a load of chickens and he supplies all the staff there with eggs. At worst they are only a couple of days old (friday to monday). Our meat comes from a local farm… Ok… It’s a little more expensive that I would pay at Sainsbury’s, but I know there is no bulking with water just like a lot of supermarkets do and I know I am supporting local production. We also get our fruit and veg from a local farm (not the same one).
    I have tried growing my own veg and it didn’t work out too bad… My problem is that I always want to try new things and don’t have much cash/space for a proper go, so I just hobby grow. B-)

    The problem is that too many people are lazy. Why shop local when you can go to the supermarket and get the whole lot for cheaper… Even though the quality is not as good and in the end we are shooting ourselves in the foot?

    Don’t be afraid to write a note to ASDA (or whoever) and tell them that you think they should change. Get enough people to agree with you and they WILL change. They want to sell things to make profits!

    The other thing I would point out to you… Sometimes you do have to pay more for all this to work. ASDA and all that will squeeze every penny out of the growers and tell you that you you are getting a bargain. Don’t fall for it. Buy from a local grower if you can.

    Anyway… Good for you! B-)

    Like

    • Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

      It’s a bit of a balancing act for me. I grow my own veg as far as possible but don’t have to balance the books for meat, milk and eggs. When I can, I do shop local but being on a pension that isn’t always possible. Vegetarianism is the obvious solution but my body feels better on a high-protein diet.

      I do also have an interest in the ‘shop local’ movement – we have a greengrocer and butcher within walking distance – but, again, the cost can be prohibitive. Mind you, the exercise from walking up and down to the shops is no bad then (ankle permitting!)

      >

      Liked by 1 person

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