Food Production

Poultry lectures were held in Wing in March 1915. Eggs were becoming an important food stuff and so lectures were given to enable poultry owners to increase egg production.

In June 1915 a notice was issued by the Board of Trade ‘In view of the increased demands for meat by the British and French Armies and the relative shortage of vessels equipped for the conveyance of meat from oversea, the Board of Trade wish to call the attention of the public to the great importance of restricting the consumption of meat so as to economise the national supplies and avoid and excessive rise in prices.’ By this time there had been a 32% increase in food prices and the cheapest meat was imported frozen but that was used by the Allied Army. It wasn’t only a reduction in meat, butter also was needed for the men fighting and margarine started to become more popular. After the sinking of the Luisitania in May it became clear that ships were not safe to travel the Atlantic without proper armed escort. This put an extra burden on the Board of Trade as well as the Royal Navy and this restriction on meat was the precursor to rationing later in the war.

In February 1916 the Vicar announced he had copies of a booklet entitled ‘Dinners for three pence’ which allowed people to cook nutritious but cheap dinners.

In May 1916 the Vicar posted this message in the Magazine:- ‘All who cannot fight should do everything they can to help in other ways. To the question, “How can I save?” we offer the following answer: 1. Make up your mind to cut down expenses; 2. Don’t waste food. Use up scraps. Be sparing of meat. Cheese, herrings, beans or split peas are as nourishing as meat. Freshen stale bread by moistening it and putting it in the oven. Cook potatoes in their skins; 3. Don’t buy lamb or veal. Only get nourishing food, it goes further; 4. Plant and sow all vegetables you can, especially potatoes, turnips and onions, and on every available ground. Store these with all the apples against the winter; 5. Help the farmers get their crops in; 6. Don’t be tempted to buy anything unnecessary, either from shops or hawkers, or waste your money on entertainments and amusements.’

In February 1917 the Bucks County Agricultural Instruction Committee issued notice of a summer school in the making of smallholder cheese. This would enable excess summer milk production to be put to good and healthy use. The recipe can be found here.

Potato production was another one that was of vital importance to the war effort, not only for the men abroad, wounded but also for everyday use. In February 1917 the Board of Education requested that parts of school gardens and vacant allotments be turned over to potato production and that an hour a day be used at school for this very purpose.

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