are enjoying the wet weather, which has kept our wartime garden well watered for the last few days at Newquay Zoo. The last few seedlings are transplanted for our late crops, more lettuce and salad is almost ready to pick.
Tomato plants are bulging with fruit and having to be tied to more stakes and reddening nicely. Some more sun would help ripen them off. The supply from the Channel Islands and Europe was cut off in wartime. Wartime tomatoes were reckoned to be higher in Vitamin C than most soft fruits (and less trouble). As a result, many zoo, stately home and botanic garden greenhouses were swiftly set aside for their propagation. Unlike many people, I love the strange smell of tomato plants!
Other good source of Vitamin C included Cabbage (supposedly not good for flatulence in a confined spaces like an air raid shelter). A battery of cartoon characters ranging from Potato Pete to Clara Carrot (some drawn by Walt Disney) were brought into action to make these vegetables more popular.
Vitamin A from carrots was great for night sight (Vitamin A deficency leads to night blindness) and allegedly used to cover up the success of RAF night fighter pilots like ‘Cats Eyes’ Cunningham and the use of supposedly secret newradar. Hmm, the ‘hush hush’ secrets of the wartime vegetable garden …