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WOMEN TO WOMEN.
WAR TIME ECONOMIES.
THE USE OF VEGETABLES.
As week succeeds week, bringing no new. of decided victories for our arras, it becomes more and more clearly evident Hint we must reconcile ourselves to the prospect of a long war, demanding ever-increasing sacri- fices on our part to keep np the supply of men nnd munitions. We bave to make our- selves realise that the country depends upon us and our savings for the wherewithal to carry on and play the,part that honour and loyalty demand of us in this struggle. Wo have ¡ill been economising for the last twelve months; but it has been compul- sory,' not voluntary, economy. The high prices of food have been the result of drought, and the war has had little or no effect upon them. To meet those high prices we have had to cul down and to reorganise onr consumption of various foods; but the question remains whether, in the event of a good season, nnd a eon sequent drop in the prices of many food- stuffs, we shall profit by what we have learned during these hard times, and con- tinue to live more simply and rigidly than has been our wont in the past. For that is what we ought to do, and the money that we contrive to save in so doing should be hanked regularly, in order that the use of it may be available at any moment by the State. Wo must adhere to the stan- dard and seale of living that has been forced upon ns, and voluntarily practise a greater simplicity from patriotic motives.
In one direction, at all events, we shall have to continue the abstemiousness which we have so hardly learned. There is. little immediate prospect'of a fall in the price of meat, and, indeed, in this direction there is a form of se]Menial which has not yet been suggested to us by anyone in authority, to which, 1 ' think, Ave should turn our attention. It has been a common observa- tion amongst women of late that the cheapest meat one can buy is veal, and many of us have been using more veal than we generally do. The reason for the comparative cheapness of veal has been that very few people have been prepared to feed calves, with both milk and fodder at high prices. But with an improvement in the supply of both of these, the cost of feeding calves is becoming less every day, and we ought, I think, to refrain as far as possible from eating cither veal or lamb, in order that the heavy losses in stock may bo as speedily ns possible made good. r Whilst there is still this stringency in the State with regard to stock, we cer- tainly ought to do our best to relieve it by lessening our demands, and that will com- pel us to use more vegetables.
During the winter vegetables, like everything else, have been dear; but with the improved weather conditions they are bound to become cheaper and cheaper. And we can materially assist this cheapening process by grow- ing some ourBeH'es. Theie nie very few suburbnn homes which do not possess a little piece of spare ground, but moBt of us like to plant these little spaces with gi ass and keep them closely clipped and green, to he the pride of our eyes. Whilst the war Lists I think'that nil our back gardens, and, if need arises, our front gar- dens too, should be devoted to the produc- tion of' foodstuffs. From many sources we learn that every spare plot in Germany, even the bchoolçrounds, have been devoted to the pioduchon of potatoes and other vegetables. We have a comfortable, but hy no means altflgether justifiable, feeling that her need is greater than ours. She is more conscious of her need than we arc, and more systematic in her methods of meeting it. 11er people arc more conscious of her national unity. If we could realise thai by growing a few vegetables we should be helping the nation in her hour of peril,
there is not one of us who would not trv to do it. And it is a positive fact.
Everyone who contributes anything at all lo the nationnl store of food is helping di- rectly and effectively. So let us "bo up and doing. Tlic season is upon us when the best work of this sort can he done, and every seedsman in the city is ready with advice and instruction foi' everyone who wants it. For food value, potatoes, beans, and peas are the best things to grow. Not everyone can manage potatoes, tjut quite a small plot, if carefully tended, will pro- duce beans enough for a good-sized house- hold, and peas and beam are effective sub- stitutes for meat. Peas require better soil than beans: they root deeper and arc greedier. All vegetables rcquiie a good deal of care in weeding and watering and keep- ing the ground open. But it is healthy work that a. woman can do as well as a man, and many women find it more fascinat- ing than flower-gardening. If the ground is ready, sowing may be begun at once; broad beans, pens, carrots, parsnips, rad- ishes, silver beet, red beet, onions, leeks, and spinach mnv all bo sown now, as well as parsley, mustard and cress and lettuces for salads, potatoes and. artichokes, -and rhubarb. If the ground is not ready, it should bo dug or trenched at once, and after a week or two the sowing mav be done. Those vegetables which permît of transplanting may be sown at once in boxes, ready to be moved when the ground is prepared.