Dig for Victory – How we did


In May, H and I got our hands dirty and dug for Victory.  For the rest of the growing season, we are committed to supplying as much of our own food as we can to conserve our rations. We refrained from making unnecessary clothing purchases while practicing a bit of “Make do and Mend.”  As part of last month’s Battle for Fuel, we strove to reduce waste by composting our household trash.   Here is a report on how we are doing so far.

The Challenge:

  • To grow something to eat.

This month we got our garden planted.  Encouraged by this challenge, I finally planted the blackberry bushes I have been meaning to plant for years.  I also planted a Stevia plant in to help with next month’s sugar ration.  Here is a picture of one of my potato beds.

They were just babies when I took this picture. They are about twice as big now.

H did start a few vegetables despite being struck by a personal tragedy as she sadly lost her father this month.  He was an avid gardener and his back yard was always full of amazing things to eat. He had started his garden before he passed. Not wanting to let his hard work go to waste, she arranged for the pastor from a local church to take care of his garden and harvest it to feed those in his congregation who may be in need.  I mention this because 1) if you are hungry, please reach out! There are people who will feed you and 2) if you lack the land for a garden, there may be someone out there with no ability or desire to tend a garden but willing to let someone else use their property to feed themselves. Rent may be paid in fresh tomatoes.


Growing our own food is not the only challenge this month as the Battle for Fuel rages on.

This month, encouraged by the Ministry of Agriculture, we challenged ourselves to start a compost so that we can feed ourselves while conserving the fuel needed to grow and transport food.

Oh boy, did this lead to many  discussion in our house!  Currently, we only compost our garden waste:

Here is a picture of our compost heap. We haven’t stirred it up because we don’t want to disturb the volunteer potatoes we found growing in it.  We want to give them a fighting chance, and hopefully, the will give us more potatoes in return.

We have avoided composting our kitchen waste because it is too much of an attractant, of not just bears but also mice and ants.  We are constantly battling all three of these critters.  But, I did a little research and found out that our local garbage service will take kitchen waste as well as garbage and recycling.  We are currently working on finding a way to store our compostables before they are picked up that won’t take up valuable freezer space or attract vermin.  Its a work in process.

On a more positive note, we got our self set up so that the garbage service will pick up our recyclables and garbage. This will cut down on our fuel consumption as we will no longer need to drive to the landfill.  Its also costs less per bag.  As small victory, but I will take it.

Fashion on the Ration

I started this month with 43 clothing ration coupons left and since I didn’t buy myself any new clothing at all, I still have 43 coupons left to spend.  H started the month with 36 coupons and she did buy herself a few new things.  Here is our tally for this month:

H Clothing Coupons

Hip roof barn Clothing Coupons

Opening Total (May 1) 36 Opening Total (May 1) 43
Rain Coat 8 No purchases 0
Work boots 0 (footwear needed to keep workers safe was exempted)
Total coupons spent (May) 9 Total coupons spent (May) 0
Coupons Left 27 Coupons Left 43

We have both been working on our Make Do and Mend projects.  H is cutting up her old tshirts to make yarn.


I started two projects.  The first project was small and easy to finish. The second one may take me a couple of months to finish.

For my first project, I cut up an old tshirt to make into a hanky.  Since lace was rationed in 1942, I fancied it up by adding a little crochet. I found the pattern a copy of the aptly named Make and Mend for Victory.

I probably should have used a smaller hook but it still looks pretty.

My second make do and mend project involved the wool sweater I bought from a local thrift store last month:

100% wool for only $0.25.  A good deal!

I need a new, warm, hang-around-the-house sweater for winter. Instead of surrendering 8 (!) ration coupons for a new sweater, I have decided to crochet one for myself.  I started by frogging the sweater.  Happily, I ended up with a lot of yarn but before I could pick out a pattern, I had to figure out how much yarn I really had. I used an online tutorial found on the Interweave website.

According to the tutorial, there are two steps to figuring out how much yarn you end up with when you take an old sweater apart.  The first step is to determine the “weight” or type of yarn you have by finding the W.P.I. (Wraps per Inch) by wrapping the yarn around a ruler.


I had about 15 W.P.I. indicating that my yarn was a sport weight.

The second step is to weigh your yarn.  I had almost a full pound!


The third step is to use the chart found at the website to calculate how many yards of yarn you have.  I have about XX, enough to make this sweater:

Diamond Lace Tunic found at the Lion Brand website.

The only problem is that I don’t think I want to make it in white!

If you Dug for Victory this month, leave a comment and tell us all about it or post a picture of your accomplishments on the hip roof barn facebook page or on instagram with the hashtag #strivingforvictory.

Next – All about our first week of eating on the ration


If you want to join in, please do! We would love to hear about your experiences. If you have a wartime story to tell, please leave a comment. Stories are an important way to keep the memories of our mothers and grandmothers alive. And one more request, if you enjoy or find value in any of our posts, please consider making a donation to Sheepdog Lodge to support those for whom the horrors of war are not in the past.

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If you have any other resources we can tap into, please include them in the comments.



  1. Oh I am so sorry to hear about H’s father. I hope his garden will provide sustenance to people while they work out the practical stuff.
    Well done for getting your plants on the ground. It’s interesting you should show the pictures of the compost heap potatoes. As a child we would go to the local recycling centre and we would find all sorts of things, one of the things I remember finding growing were potato plants in the compost heaps. Nature finds a way indeed!


  2. My condolences to H and her family. Her arrangements for the garden is a very gracious gesture as well as a touching tribute to her father.

    Your raised beds and deer fence are enviable works of art!! What sort of potatoes did you plant? They look very healthy in that photo.
    I love that you have a volunteer in the compost pile! See, you finally got your garbage garden after all!
    We have had another week of serious rain. My potted herbs have requested snorkels.
    I am impressed that you and H have old shirts to recycle into projects…mine are never suitable for anything but cleaning rags when I finally release them. I should be ashamed!
    We have municipal compost collection sites here every week at various spots around the area. Since I no longer have access to the garden bins, I keep my contributions in zip lock bags in one of the produce drawers in the fridge. I chop them up so that they take up less space. It hasn’t caused any whiffiness or mold, so I’m happy with that. If I miss a week I was sticking it in the chest freezer, but it just died and ugly death after being defrosted and restarted….sigh. I’m looking into repair costs but it’s not promising. I’ll have to make sure I get to the collection site no matter what!

    I can understand not wanting a white sweater to wear around the house [see my note on disgraceful shirts] but it might work up into a lovely wrap instead.


    1. Thanks Jill. I will pass on your condolences. H and I grew up together so I knew her dad pretty well. I know he would be pleased that his veggies will be passed on to feed hungry people.

      Good luck with your chest freezer. What a pain!


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