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Special Delivery!

Well, as promised, the book arrived and on first glance its not going to be a disappointment.

Wartime Farm Book

It is divided into eight chapters coinciding with each episode l presume starting with The Farm at War, Mobilising People, The Home and Garden Front, Wartime Food, Livestock, Home Defences, Make Do and Mend, ….And Carry On.

It is full of rich photographs covering the team as they go about their work along with many wonderful old photographs from that period. The selection of WW2 posters that are included emphasize the feeling that everyone had a role to play if the nation was not to starve. Also included are a small selection of wartime  recipes including this one called Baked Potato Pudding:

Baked Potato Pudding Recipe

Call me old fashioned if you will but raspberry jam, for me, usually goes best between two slices of bread and butter not with mashed potatoes! If anyone out there gives this a try please let me know how you get on with it, or l’ll just have to wait for that episode and see if they tell the truth!

Even the Boiled Onions with White Sauce smacks of yukky school dinners for me so l might have to give that one a miss too. The Gingerbread sounds nice as does the Mock Marmalade using Crab Apples and Carrots instead of Oranges. Mmmmm.

I can’t wait to see the bird-scarer in action. Alex Langlands found an advert in an agricultural magazine from that period and decides to make one from scratch. The results are explosive!

So, don’t forget…BBC2 tomorrow night at 8.00. Hope you are all enjoying this lovely September sunshine. Long may it run.

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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in September

 

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Wartime Farm BBC TV

I just thought l should remind all you WW2 buffs out there that the makers of Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm are following it up with a new series based during the war years of World War 2, named appropriately as Wartime Farm

Wartime Farm.

I was asked by the publishers this week if l would like to have a review copy. Fantastic, l feel so chuffed! I was explaining to them that l felt l had lost direction with this blog as l didn’t have a veg plot to work with anymore. But, as l have said before, not everyone back in those days had a garden but still wanted to do their bit for the Dig for Victory campaign. I remember my Great Grandmother’s house l lived in as a child for a short while. It was a rambling Victorian mid-terrace with a small courtyard type garden at the back. I used to watch the steam trains go over the bridge at the bottom of the road. I even remember having a bath in a tin bath in front of the fire! The backyard was made to look as best it could with a shed, a small patch of grass and some borders at the side with a mixture of shrubs and roses. I played in those borders for hours and sometimes l still get that smell of the soil that will launch me back to those very early years along with Mrs Pratley’s cats next door! I am sure they had grown some veg back in the war years. Everyone felt they had to contribute in some way to the war effort.

So, back to 2012 and we find ourselves having had an offer accepted on a house close to where l work. Its detached but no real garden only a large courtyard at the back with a graveled area at the front but in a lovely location next to a 12th Century church. We hope to move in by late October. I already have plans for the courtyard and without upsetting my better half will make some nice containers for some veg next year along with some hanging baskets for tomatos etc. My blog will continue along those lines until my name comes up for an allotment in 2075. Ha ha.

So, look out for Wartime Farm next Thursday 6th September on BBC2 at 8.00pm for the next 8 weeks. Can’t wait!.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in September

 

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Happy Chappy!

Yes, l am a happy chappy because the book l won on ebay was delivered yesterday. Not just any book mind but an original 1945 copy of Middleton’s All The Year Round Gardening Guide.

This is the book that Arum Press published a few years ago under the title of ‘Dig On For Victory’. I had seen a picture of the book but didn’t think l would ever find a copy so thank you ebay! I have been using the Dig for Victory book for my weekly updates on what to do in your garden but now l will be able to refer to the original book as well, not that there is any difference but l love to pick an old book up like this and imagine who else had read it all those years ago. It is not a well worn copy so l doubt it has been used on a daily basis fro reference but it is still 66 years old!

It has a different introduction to the Aurum Press copy and l think is much better, more personal, and as this was written in 1945 it could well have been his last work. In his introduction he talks of ‘my sincere hope that we shall soon be digging for a lasting peace’. I am unsure as to the exact date he died in 1945 but l do hope he did see peace before he went.

I love the last paragraph, ‘Step on the spade rather than the accelerator, and you will reach the end of the journey quicker’.

Introduction


It is full of wonderful adverts ranging from Dettol, Cuprinol, Carters Seeds, Dobbies Seeds, Fisons, Unwins and Qualcast all of which are still going strong today. But l’m not sure about Carters Seeds. Were they the seeds that Woolworths used to stock? Or was it Bees?

On the back page is a Boots the Chemist advert advertising Compost, Insecticides etc all ‘approved and recommended by Mr C. H. Middleton Horticultural Consultant to Boots the Chemist’. This man got about what with working for the BBC on radio and television, writing books and making films he really was the first celebrity gardener.

On that note, there has been an awful lot of debate on who is the best person to front Gardeners World. Firstly, l think it is a shame there is only one gardening programme on the TV, especially when you see so many Home programmes, antiques, relocations, etc. So who is my favourite, well, l love Monty. He is down to earth, energetic, and just gets on with the matter in hand. Toby and Alys were just awful. No wonder the viewing figures plummeted. Carole Klein is nice but l wish she would stop laughing when she is talking!

Who is your favourite TV gardening celeb?

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2011 in May, Mr Middleton

 

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