“Violet and I have been trying to grow some vegetables – potatoes, carrots and beans – in the garden of the little cottage that we’re sharing in the countryside near to the base. The government keeps saying that people need to grow their own food and so we are. The cottage is an old one overlooking fields with grazing horses, and a toilet right down at the end of the garden. The weather’s been warm and lovely this month, but I wonder what the cottage will be like if we have to stay here until winter. There’s electricity in the ground floor of the cottage but up on the first floor it’s candles only.”
That quote comes from a diary entry of 1st July, 1940 and refers to the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign when Britain was being blockaded by the German armed forces and supplies were difficult to get through from the outside world.
The modern equivalent seems to be in the recent announcement of new initiatives by the Falkland Islands Development Council to reduce the Islanders reliance on imported fruit, vegetables and eggs. Argentina’s belligerence and uncooperative attitude has forced the Islanders to re-route their shipping supplies and rely on the regular LAN flight for fresh eggs.
At a recent Legislative Assembly meeting, the Hon. Mike Summers said of the Import Substitution Programme, “I am happy that’s now come through. It’s one of the processes and it will be advertised now from FIDC and people will then be able to take that up. I think I will be involved in that most of the way so if people are unclear about what’s happening with the Import Substitution Programme by all means give me a call and I will try to help. But it is an important attempt to come a little closer to self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is one of those nice, green, ideas that we have that are sometimes are not that altogether practical but I think in this particular case the growing of food stuffs in the Falklands is perfectly possible. We are a food-producing nation, we always have been and that’s an important place to be in this difficult world.”
With fresh vegetables having reached sky-high prices this winter, perhaps an EU subsidy is required ?