Disaster strikes …

Blog 3 (Minor) Disaster strikes the Wartime zoo garden …

Days from planting out the first plants in our wartime keeper’s garden, DISASTER has struck on TWO counts.

SLUGS! Slugs have demolished most of our Pak Choi and  Iceberg Lettuce seedlings. Planting in a zoo environment, we can’t use slug pellets so we’ll have to explore other wartime 1940s ways of keeping slugs at bay!

DROPPED SEEDLINGS! Clumsy fingers (mine!) have dropped  a whole box of Leaf Salad (Cos) seedlings, carefully nurtured over the last few weeks.  Luckily we have replanted most of them and keep our fingers crossed that they will survive this minor avalanche.

On the good side, our late carrots are sticking tiny green heads above the soil, nasturtiums as good salad leaves for monkeys are finally appearing and our late crop of Ormskirk Late cabbages are doing well ready for thinning out and planting.

At the zoo, we’ve swopped reading BBC Wildlife magazine for BBC History magazine and Gardener’s World for a while. From one magazine we’ve learnt more about the background to events in the run up to war in September 1939. From the other, what crops we could possibly get in time during the war clouds gathered. July and August are not the best times to be digging either air raid trenches or vegetable beds, but to be authentic we can’t start much earlier this year.

Our World War Zoo project will be a practical living memorial, almost history that you can eat in the form of a wartime “dig for victory garden” being recreated at Newquay Zoo in Cornwall. More news of this project follows over the next few weeks as we prepare the ground and get planting.

Watch this space!

Mark Norris,

World War Zoo Project team, Newquay Zoo, Cornwall, UK

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