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Don’t “Plough Monday”!

Don’t “Plough Monday”!

Posted on January 09 2023, By: Emma Wooding

Don’t “Plough Monday”!

Monday 9th January 2023, or “Plough Monday”!

Plough Monday is an old East Anglian tradition, that marks the start of the agricultural season. In times gone by, the day marked return to the farm of the workers after an unpaid Christmas holiday since agricultural work was scarce in winter. They walked around asking for ‘donations’ from better-off neighbours. Farmworkers would shout “Penny for the ploughboys!” while dragging a plough around. Villagers unwilling to donate faced the possibility of having their gardens ploughed!

The expression ‘digging deep’ refers to one’s ability to find inner strength and push through tough times with determined resilience. A trait that we all possess and call upon when push comes to shove. However, whilst digging deep for our environment is a fantastic thing (let’s be honest it needs our help!), digging deep in the literal sense can have a very negative impact indeed!

When we were in the midst of World War II, the ‘Dig For Victory’ campaign was set up by the British Ministry of Agriculture to encourage men and women across the country to grow their own food in times of harsh rationing.

The history of agriculture is ingrained in our culture both nationally and globally. Farming practices have changed considerably over recent decades. Before then, it was commonplace for stubble fields to be left for the winter period and ploughed up in the spring ahead of planting the spring crops. This practice was of significant importance to winter bird populations as the stubble fields provided a lifeline in the form of a winter larder which helped them get through the dark depths of winter.

Times have changed somewhat since then and there are both winners and losers. But as time goes on, many are becoming more environmentally aware and conscientious of the reactions to their actions.

‘Digging’ in its simplest terms releases carbon into the atmosphere! Which has a negative impact on our planet and it’s air-breathing inhabitants.

Plants both remove carbon from the atmosphere and also lock it into their roots, cell structures and the soil. It’s when these structures are broken that the carbon is released.

We’ve come a long way since the war, though there are still battles occurring on an environmental level every day. The science suggests that without change, things are only set to become worse.

Perhaps the most current campaign slogan should read ‘Don’t Dig For Victory!’ & today should be renamed ‘DON’T Plough Monday!’

Don’t Plough Monday!

Do you have a view… to Plough, or not to Plough? That is the Question!


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