20 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 10

Intensive Cultivation What a deal of food can be produced

from a small plot! For innumerable years I have taken a particular interest in intensive cultivation, and still regard Prince Kropotkin's Fields, Factories and Workshops as one of the great books ; but never before realised how much can be produced by amateurish effort. Here is an example from one plot. A piece of garden about 3o yards by is has provided more vegetables than a family of five could eat. A plot half this size taken in for the war has provided potatoes that should last till the next crop shall be dug. Sufficient bean and pea seed for next year has been saved. The smallest greenhouse procurable (and it is unheated) has produced more than enough tomatoes for daily consumption and for preserving. It will also supply a modicum of dwarf beans in the winter. A tumble down structure has housed just 14 pullets, a form of live- stock not kept before on the premises. They have laid a good 2,000 eggs since early December, and are still giving five or six a day. From two beehives have been collected just 140 lbs. of run honey. Someone, I think Sir Daniel Hall, has pointed out that we have virtually the same number of cultivated acres as we have population. All this suggests that even this island could be self-sufficing in the matter of food if that was desirable. It is possible that vegetables will be short in the spring, but a few cloches, or better a Dutch frame, would supply the gaps.