23 MARCH 1918, Page 10


[To ran Enrroa or THE " SESCr►TOB.") Sie,—Many people sorely have long wondered at the absence of advocacy and encouragement of the growing of Dorn crops in allotments and gardens. At last I see an editorial in the Journal of the Board of Agriculture deprecating such proposals. I ven- ture to disagree with the Food Production. Department and the reasons they assign. They speak of the greater food value of crops of "vegetables" which can be produced, as compared with the average crop of corn. As regards potatoes, the contention is irrefutable; but what is the food value of cabbages and the various green vegetables of which such a glut was produced last year? Many would argue that while palatable and health-giving, so far from supplanting the staple foods of mankind, they are more calculated to increase the consumption of meat and bread. I know the disadvantage of the ravages of birds on corn crops, and yet measures of protection are much more practicable in the garden than in the field; and we have perhaps not yet learnt to appreciate rye—which is less liable to injury by birds—at its true

value. Sanely there are many who, like myself, remember how in our childhood in the country, cottagers used so commonly to grow their little plot of wheat in their allotments; how the farmer used to thresh out his labourers' little lots at the end of his threshing; and how they used to take their oorn to the mill, close by, to be ground, and make their own bread at home. Is not sight lost also of the amount of potato-sick garden ground, of the poor yields obtained in these gardens, and how badly these plots are seized with potato disease year after year? Indeed, if there were a more complete rotation of crops in the garden, there would not be so much need of potato-spraying. I am afraid the great need, both for ourselves and our livestock, is cereals, and it is to be hoped, indeed, that the failure to employ every means to increase their production will not be realized too late.—I am,