20 DECEMBER 1946, Page 17


IT is usually a surprise, though it happens often, to find other countries taking their lead from an English example, generally in some political or social reference. But it may happen even in horticulture, an art in which we have lagged far behind the Dutch, the Belgians, the French, and in some regards the Japanese and Chinese. Now we have in England a very humble but steadily growing organisation called the V.P.A., for which the County Garden Produce Committee issues a typewritten bulletin of a few pages. The editors of this have recently received requests from France, Brazil and Turkey for full information about the nature of the movement and its form of organisation. The latest inquiry is a request for the script of a broadcast on the subject for translation into Chinese! Though I usually disagree altogether with those who urge a return to the alleged Golden Age before the open fields were enclosed, I must believe that we ought to return as completely as may be to local self-sufficiency, whereby the villages or groups of villages shall provide themselves with fresh and wholesome foods. Towards this ideal the Garden Produce Committee is making a notable advance, though the scale is still small, in a majority of the counties.