Dig for Victory!

The slogan of the British war movement that encouraged residents to take up alms to help feed the country. Every piece of available land was converted over to growing food, usually potatos, onions and greens. Even the palace replaced its rose gardens for victory plots. This was due to the Germans destroying most of the shipping routs into the country when at the time more than 70% of Brittan's food was imported. 

Fast forward to today and its fair to say that the majority of us rely, 100%! on our food, water and electricity needs being supplied by others. We have come some way to improving this, most new houses are required to have rain water tanks providing at least some of their water, there are rebates for installing solar. Many of us haven't even considered that something like WW2 could happen again.  surely we are better prepared now? Well not really. If you consider the land available to grow on around you home? Is it enough to feed your family? Most houses are built right up to the boundary lines. you would actually have to buy dirt to grow in. Buy dirt! Gone are the days of milk and bread being delivered by horse what provided a nice source of fertaliser (my grandmother used the fight off the neighborhood women for that dung). sure we can compost but this takes months to become a good growing medium, what are you going to do in the mean time? Do you have seeds? During WW2 the supply of seeds actually became a hot commodity because all of a sudden it could mean you could eat beyond your rations. community seed swaps were set up where you could barter for the most hard to get vegie seeds. Tomatoes were in hot demand as were peas and other luxury non essential. dont forget flower seeds. No they aren't a food but they do attract pollinators that you cant do without for fruit and vegetable production.

So why did we stop victory gardening? Well its actually easy to understand when you look at it. It has to do with social status. If you had alot of money you could buy you fruits and vegetables, if you were unemployed then you had to keep your garden to feed your family. Want the neighbors to like you, grow roses, not potatoes.  the council jumped on this bandwagon too. If you wanted housing prices to go up you needed the neighborhood to seem prosperous and attract wealthy home owners. So they introduced rules about what could and couldn't be planted in your front gardens. These rules are still in place today. Many councils state that you must maintain your kerb but can not plant in it. there are cases of people being taken to court over planing food in their front garden.

The term gorilla gardening has become popular as a reference to planing edibles in public places. Its technically illegal because its council land but its up to the council on if they remove it once planted. What do you think? Should i be illegal to grow food on public land or is it a solution to a growing food crisis?

Additional reading
Dig for victory
Food street
Urban food street
Verge gardening - fined
Gorilla gardening 
Orlando couple fined
Earning money urban gardening

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