In a recent article on allotments, Julian Baggini says, “But let’s not kid ourselves they reduce food miles or increase food security. The case for allotments is spiritual and psychological, not economic or environmental.”  Don’t you hate it when people confuse cynicism with realism, especially if they call themselves philosophers!

…And presumably should have thought quite hard about those particular words. Anyway, if anyone wants to ask their local council to create more allotments to satisfy their spiritual cravings, I wish them the best of luck.

I would suggest that if anyone wants to discuss food security, they might as well start with a study of military history. There really is no point in having a big army unless you can feed your population, which is why blockade has always been a vital strategy in any conflict that lasts more than a few days. Interesting statistic: the Dig for Victory campaign was so successful in WWII that by 1943, more than one million tons of vegetables were being grown in British gardens and allotments. Now there is a target to aim for. And since the vast majority of this would otherwise have been imported, I imagine that even Mr Baggini would accept that there is a statistically significant reduction of food miles involved….

After a hot day, the sun is at last going down, so I shall go out and water my raised beds. I suspect that the potatoes need a good feed, by now: tomato food will probably do as well as anything, at this stage. There is still time to plant beetroot and lettuce, carrots, French beans, and spring onions – oh, and peas, if you choose an ‘early’ variety, which will grow quickly. I am not really qualified to assess their spiritual value, but the taste is usually rather good.

Jon Gunson, TTL.


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