Anybody remember the last Dig For Victory Campaign?

I was born in 1965 and was taught to garden using my Grandma’s Victory Garden. It was a Victory garden in more ways than one as it managed to feed her, my Dad and his sister after his own Father died in the war. This afternoon I have been trying out some advice for her Stork (margarine) wartime cookery book and have made a passable cake with no dairy products at all…Well I hope it is passable it looks ok haven’t tried it yet!

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Yum, I can’t wait to hear how it tastes. :yum:

It is putting a lot of faith in a tin of pears, I used the fruit (cut up) instead of fresh and the juice instead of milk and no eggs, but it looks great…

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Well here is the proof of the pudding or rather the Hughes Victory Cake…It was really nice…

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Here is the recipe if anyone wants it: 8oz of self raising flour, rubbed in with 4oz of vegetable margarine, 4oz of sultanas (dried), 4oz of soft brown sugar and then the wonder ingredient. I large tin of pear halves cut up into chunks and half the tin of their juice. Mix it up hard and then put it in a cake tin (the ones with removable bottoms work best) and cook it for about 45 minutes on number 4-5 (gas). Cook it until it goes brown and a cake tester or skewer comes out clean. Hide it from locked down guzzling husband and son until tea time…

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Sounds delish! Hiding cake from hungry mouths during lockdown will be a challenge though :smiley:

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There’s a great article here in the New York Times about how the Victory Garden movement is being revived:


I didn’t realised that the first victory gardens in America were actually as much a response to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 as they were to the wartime effort (first world war)…

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Neither did I, that is amazing! Spooky almost…Here is a plan for an old style Victory Garden which I have really enjoyed looking at, it seems incredible that they thought this would last for a family of 5 and yet it was grown in such a small area…I liked it so much though I updated it by doing the plan with the Garden Planner, a modern version but tastes have changed, not a single potato…

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Born in 1946, I wasn’t around for the war but in the UK, ‘Dig for Victory’ carried on afterwards to combat the food shortages that persisted in the aftermath and defeat economic crisis. Rationing of many foodstuffs was the order of the day and dear old Dad (who always seemed to have two jobs - day and evening to make ends meet) had a long allotment. We had little cash but the table was never short of veg. His spade and fork were well-worn! Just got a book from Amazon - well worth a read - ‘Allotment and Garden Guide’ which features the UK ministry monthly guides for 1945 and captures some of that spirit…

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That sounds fantastic and what an introduction to gardening, my Grandma’s Victory Garden carried on up until the 1970’s and again we all got going with it during the 3 day week in the 1970’s…I will have a look on Amazon, I still have a few pamphlets from the War but they are mostly food preparation ones, one by the Woman’s Institute and one by Stork (margarine) which is surprisingly modern. The other thing that we have is an original of Adam the Gardener from 1946, I cringe at some of the chemicals he uses but lots of the information is still great!

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Wow! Super Cool! Thank you for posting this picture, I copied it and think we’re going to try it!

Good luck, I am sure that it will do well, the only thing I did notice was that there were no potatoes there and I have to say for a family of 5 I would add a few rows!

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Wow! They sure were aggressive in their gardening! I guess if it put food on the table, they would have to be.

Wartime and post-war gardening wasn’t so much aggressive as relating to need. Mother worried about the pennies and father worried about providing essential food supplies to supplement low income. As kids, we didn’t realise at the time how they worked so hard to make sure we didn’t go without. After five years+ military service, I never really got to appreciate how much effort they put in.

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You are completely right there and I don’t think that they were allowed to keep all their produce, certainly my Grandma’s eggs had to be logged in a book and someone came each week to take a certain amount away to be given as rations. Even if you had a garden a portion went to other people who didn’t and if you didn’t garden then you really had very little to eat. All the grass verges in the villages were planted up too and my Dad remembers as a child the whole class going foraging for rose hips for the government to turn into rose hip syrup for babies and doing the same for conkers to feed pigs…It was a very different time, now we are all gardening to stay sane and to grow those extras…

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Here is a wonderful link to the first Victory Gardens in the US…https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/dining/victory-gardens-coronavirus.html?

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And here is a link to the actual Dig For Victory Pamphlet…

https://archive.org/details/victorygardensfe00pack/page/n1/mode/2up

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