River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Letter to the Editor

June 2010

Peter puts a different point of view to Cyril Marsters letter in the last edition

Letter to the Editor.

Dear Ray,

As a brief explanation in response to Cyril Masters may I use a few lines of the pump again, to expand my aside.

Taking a rough cut of the numbers involved...11 M people in a 'non-garden' position of residence divide by two to be realistic on a family basis then multiply the energy and resources to produce 5 million or so new Forks, Hoes, Rakes, Spades, Water-Cans and or Hose-Pipes, Buckets, Wheelbarrows etc., and you have a massive increase in pollutants from China / Korea, or wherever these items are made plus of course the transport from factory to eventual home. I suspect several (perhaps many) years will have to pass before any 'green' saving is to emerge.

Add to that the fact that a farm uses X tonnes of chemicals to grow say 100 acres of product, delivered in one drop, un-packaged, in bulk to be used. Small time growing Gardens, allotments etc., would need the same product in brightly printed 1Kg boxes, with plastic sachets ...again all printed, all palletised and all delivered to hundreds of Garden Centres all over the country, then collected by millions of car driving gardeners for use on their own plot.

(repeat again and again for slug pellets, ant dispersant, gro-more etc,) I just don't see a 'green' saving...in fact I could easily imagine a deficit of large, on-going and growing proportions, particularly if it is successful and the Garden Centres and manage to convince these home gardeners that flies, wasps, moles etc., etc are a real danger to their soil and need added specialised packets of 'treatment' to eradicate them.

The food supply 'Dig for Victory' in WWII was of course a great morale booster, like the 'Pots and Pans for Spitfires', metal collections...which as we now all realise could never have built a Spitfire due to quality problems of re-cycled, commercial grade, aluminium. Was the vegetable front similarly faulty?...I personally think not, but it must not be forgotten that many hundreds of thousands of suburban gardens went from flowers to potatoes... open amenity land went to food cultivation and animal rearing, as did other 'out of useful use' areas of 'unused' land. Allotments, though very useful, were just a part of a much bigger picture.

I personally suspect that we could do more for our planet in this area by eliminating the millions of tons of food wasted annually, that I believe ends up in land fill sites...which is of course another subject altogether.

Peter Bodle

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