21 June 2011

Olive Mellor 'Grow Your Own'

Here are a few pages from a Herald Sun publication by Olive Mellor. There's no date, but I would say it's probably 1950's. I can't find any information about this publication in the National Library catalogue or anywhere else online. Olive Mellor taught horticulture for many years at Burnley and wrote for the Australian Home Beautiful. She also designed more than 500 gardens and was one of the first full-time female students at Burnley Horticultural College (for which she had to receive special permission from the Minister for Agriculture). She was a lecturer when Edna Walling attended Burnley and one of her contemporaries.  I feel honored to have taught my Burnley students (when I was lecturing) in the same plots down in the Burnley Field Station.

Here's a calendar for growing vegetables in the home garden in Melbourne, complete with when to spray your D.D.T.! Nothing organic in those days - it was all about using the new wonder chemicals to maximise yield and feed the masses post WWII.  Chemicals were all about increasing food production and minimising the waste caused by pests and plant diseases.

Scroll down for a table of what to plant when to feed a family of four for the year including how much seed and how many seedlings are required and how much space is needed

Calendar - January and February (click on image for larger version)

Calendar - March to July (click on image for larger version)

 Calendar - August to December (click on image for larger version)

What to plant to keep the family in veggies all year!  (click on image for larger version)

 Advert for snail killer on the back cover. Metaldehyde is still a main ingredient used in snail pellets today. It is highly toxic and often deadly to pets and small children. Note the happy couple with knee-high lettuces but no children or animals to be seen - clever marketing! I love the bright colors in this ad and the sense of easy instant action implied by the numbers "Better in 3 ways" and the highlighted words "Change", "New", "Better than ever", "WORLD'S BEST", "SUPERCHARGED"

Remember, these were the days when D.D.T. was sprayed liberally by the truckload into the air in residential neighborhoods to cut down on mosquitos in the spring and summer - both in the U.S. and Australia. We still get sprayed with insecticides before we get off the plane from any international flight arriving in Australia, so some things really haven't changed! Personally though, I find a jar with with a little beer half-buried in the veggie-patch works just fine to kill the slugs and snails and doesn't hurt anyone.  They crawl in and die a happy death. I just have to hold my nose when I'm setting it out because I can't stand the smell of beer!

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