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We were quite self sufficient in vegetables, he used to grow enough potatoes to last us the whole year, as well as cabbage, spinach and sprouts.

When you look around Brighton and see the amount of places that are built on today and think to yourself about when they were all allotments, there was hundreds of them in Brighton, and people took a pride in them. I used to go with him on a Sunday to push an old barrow with a set of pram wheels on them to bring the vegetables home.

There was no vandalism in those days, you could leave your tools in the shed. There was no artificial fertilizer apart from bonemeal which always seemed to be available, and a lot of people used to do double digging - dig a trench, in went the manure, they used to get much better crops that way. Today there's not a lot of double digging done, a lot of people keep on digging the earth and digging the earth but don't seem to put anything back into it.

During the war everybody was asked to save anything that was edible for pigs. It used to go into pig bins that were distributed in the roads around Brighton, and there were special vans that went round collecting it all. It was taken up to Hollingdean Road where it was cooked in these big vats and when it was cold it was cut up into cake and sent out to all different farms to keep the pigs going. They used to collect a hell of a lot of stuff."

Question: How do you turn a vegetable into a dangerous pollutant?
Answer : Simple, just put it in the bin!

There are some estimates that as much as 40 per cent of what households throw away in their bins is compostable, and yet the UK currently composts just 3 per cent of its total waste. So instead of being put in a compost bin and being turned into an amazing organic pick-me-up for the garden, it gets thrown into landfill sites where it produces methane, a potent `greenhouse' gas and `leachate', a liquid pollutant which can contaminate ground water supplies.

To find out all about composting contact the Henry Doubleday Research Association - address at the back of the book.

   

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