17 MAY 1940, Page 17

New Virtues All manner of much neglected produce acquires value

in war- time. Young nettles, the tips of bracken fronds and lawn grass are three of the things we are told to value. The first two make good vegetables for ourselves, the last good fodder for our stock if fed to them in small quantities. It is like the soya bean, on which the German army is living. A little is excellent, a lot is almost punitive. One ingenious gardener recommends a novel use for this grass. He puts it on the top of his compost heap, spreads earth over this and then plants mushroom spawn, and wonderful crops are said to be produced in autumn. One countrywoman tells me she has never felt better since she made sorrel and dandelion leaves and bread and butter the chief of her diet! Incidentally, with regard to the cultivated dandelion, the best method is to plant in rows between boards set up on their edge with other boards laid on these as a roof. The leaves arc thus bleached and make one of the best of salad ingredients. The roots are saleable to chemists.