Three acres and liberty
While reading a book called three acres and liberty from 1923 I came across this passage that I thought might interest some of you, a bit of history:
The London Daily News reports that in one year, which was not a good season for all crops, on a half acre of land, Mr. Henry Vincent, of Brighton, England, raised the following products:
2660 cabbages, 70 bushels spinach, 950 cauliflowers, parsley, 1460 lettuces, 660 broccoli, 16 bushels potatoes, 19-1/4 bushels Brussels sprouts, 106-1/2 gallons peas, 120 gallons artichokes, flowers, 267 vegetable marrows, 2976 carrots, 264 bundles radishes, 14 gallons French beans, 12 gallons currants’ 95-1/2 punnets mustard, 27 pounds mushrooms, rhubarb, 948 bushels sprout tops, 38 dozen leeks, 1150 plants, 11-1/4 gallons broad beans, 97 bundles sea-kale, 978 bundles of asparagus-kale, 504 beet roots, 2913 gallons gooseberries, 219 bundles mint, 20 bundles sage, 18 bundles of fennel, thyme, besides one cartload of stones.
Mr. Vincent explains how he came to go into intensive cultivation: “A few years ago the doctors said if I did not go out more I could not live. Very well, just at that time there was an outcry about the land not paying for cultivation. I could not understand this, for as a boy at seven years of age I had to go out to farm work, therefore I never went to school. Anyhow I thought something was very wrong if the land would not pay; so, to compel myself to go out in the fresh air, I took an allotment on the Sussex Downs to work in the early morning before my daily duties began. I might say that I am a waiter, and have been in my present situation forty years, so you can understand I could not know much of land or garden work I could not see my way clear in the few spare hours I get to take more than half an acre of land to garden early, especially as I started knowing practically nothing about such work, but I can manage to do my half acre all alone.
“My garden is situated on the Brighton Race Hill ridge, and twelve years ago it was but four inches of soil on chalk, but I now have a foot of soil on the whole of the half acre, and year by year my profits increase.