Sunday, October 11, 2015


During the Second World War, with food-carrying ships from the dominions being sunk in large numbers by German U-boats amid fears they might starve the UK into submission, people all over the country - Brigg included - were urged to Dig for Victory by growing fruit and veg on waste ground, parks and golf courses.
We were reminded of this - 70+ years later - by an email from Brigg Blog follower Jackie Brock, the former town councillor.
She kindly alerted us to a tomato plant growing on a traffic island in the middle of the A18, near the entrance to our Tesco store.
We went to take a look and here are the pictures to prove the existence of this wonder of nature.
With thousands of vehicles passing within inches of its precarious perch, the perky plant has prolonged life long enough to produce fruit.
Back in the late 1960s, a practical lesson at Brigg Grammar School saw us sent out to the A18 to meaure dust particles which formed a film on plants growing near the main road, including privet leaves. We discovered an awful lot of pollution.
Back then it was all leaded petrol, of course. So perhaps the survival of our tenacious tomato is linked to the switch to unleaded fuel.
Going back even further into the 1960s, while at Glebe Road Primary we used to grow mustard and cress by putting seeds on soaked blotting paper. It was amazing how the plants grew without soil.

1 comment:

Ken Harrison said...

Weeds are often regarded as plants growing in the wrong truth, weeds are self-sown and only survive if conditions allow them to weeds should be regarded as plants growing in their proper place.
In addition, any plant can revert to its native state when self-sown and the conditions allow it to mature.
In the Earth's past history, different climate conditions have favoured certain living things.
We should not regard present high levels of pollution (Co2 etc) in the atmosphere as having a negative on all living things. For example, when the Earth had very high levels of pollution - perhaps caused by extreme volcanic activity, plants actually benefited and geological history indicates that trees and plants thrived with trees, for instance, growing much taller than they do today.
It has also been found tomato plants offer bigger yields when additional Co2 in pumped inside of their greenhouses...Indeed, some extensive tomato plant growers in the USA have piped Co2 from local power stations, which significantly increases productivity.
While the wild tomato plant is surviving in the poor soil of the gutter, the increased Co2 from passing vehicles is creating it own mini climate and the so-called pollution, which can have a negative effect on humans, is actually enjoyed and beneficially consumed by the tomato plant to improve its survival chances.