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V is for Vegetable

‘every endeavour must be made to […] produce the greatest volume of food of which this fertile Island is capable’ – Winston Churchill, 1940

During WW2, German U-boats destroyed ships bringing supplies to Britain and the country suffered from food shortages. In response to these shortages, the government called for food to be grown on home soil.

Dig for Victory Leaflet, c1941 (HD1262/36)

Dig for Victory Leaflet, c1941 (HD1262/36)

In the Dig for Victory leaflet, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries asks everyone who has or can access an allotment, garden or any spare land, to grow as many vegetables as they can. The leaflet contains instructions on how to maximise vegetable production all year-round, tips include fertilising the soil using organic matter.

Onion bed at Chantry Park, 1942 (K684/141)

Onion bed at Chantry Park, 1942 (K684/141)

Public squares and parks were transformed into vegetable gardens across the counties and in Suffolk, Chantry Park was filled with onions.
Farmers were called upon to grow fruit and vegetables. With many men away fighting, the government decided to resurrect the Woman’s Land Army that they had established in WW1 to harvest the produce.

Land Army loading potato crop (K681/1/189/5)

Land Army loading potato crop (K681/1/189/5)

Farmers like the one in the picture above, employed the army to harvest vegetables from potatoes to parsnips. In this image, the land army load potatoes onto a wagon on a farm near Great Bealings.

Land Army at Orford, c1942 (K681/1/347/2)

Land Army at Orford, c1942 (K681/1/347/2)

The efforts of the Land Army are celebrated in this image taken in the village of Orford. Members of the army can be seen on a vegetable float decorated with Union Jacks and a pair of wings.