Is old-style self-sufficiency making a come-back? Remember The Good Life?
With the death of comedian Richard Briars, we recall a British seventies sitcom, The Good Life. I met Richard Briars fifteen years ago when I worked in a tea-room close to his home and mine in Radlet. I found him to be a charming, if reclusive man. The television show, which struck a chord in the seventies, was voted the ninth best of all time by the British public in 2004. See the BBC News item here.
My life took the same turn in the seventies when my ex-husband suffered a nervous breakdown. He left his advertising job and we moved to the small fishing village of Robe, South Australia offered by my father-in-law. Sure enough, my ex found working surrounded by sand dunes gave him the peace he needed to heal. We raised fowl of all types, cared for several colored sheep and sold our vegetable produce and spun wool in our craft shop cum tea-room.
Earlier precedents had been set before The Good Life became so popular. The Dig for Victory campaign during World War II encouraged the whole country to grow their own food and peaked at nearly one and a half million allotments. This was because of the terrible wartime shortages and naval blockades.
Nowadays, most suburbs still run allotments where people can grow their vegetables. Part of a field is fenced off down the road from me, set out with rows ready for spring planting. It's a great community activity and worthwhile although there is usually a waiting list for space.
Growing your own vegetables could be the best way to make ends meet in these times of spiraling food costs.