I only remember because when I was 12 I wrote an essay and won a copy which I still proudly treasure. Can you imagine the response of today's children if they were offered that as a prize?!
I'm not sure how many people actually became self-sufficient as a result of either the programme or the book but the idea was very much there. Fast forward a few decades and while few may really want to be self-sufficient, there's definitely renewed interest in foraging, making use of natural materials and appreciating our natural environment.
In my imagination, there's a one-day... version of me who has plenty of time and energy and the perfect pinny for picking, pickling, bottling, brewing and preserving all I find. When guests come round they'll marvel at my incredibly ordered pantry shelves, full of beautifully labelled, delicious jars stock-piled for a post-Brexit future. As I said, this is just in my imagination.
But this imaginary me is revived every Spring when I spot the wild garlic, or ransoms as many call it. One of the first 'herbs' (?) to green, the wild garlic brings with it not only its distinctive scent but a promise of a lovely Spring and Summer full of free harvests and the satisfaction of making good use of the things that we find (now I've got the Wombles' words/tune stuck in my head).
Apparently it's also brilliant for reducing blood pressure and heart disease and is antibacterial and antibiotic. No idea how much does what - might be better to rely on your usual doctor & pharmacist rather than my blog.
Wild garlic is really just the beginning of the foraging season. If this is something that appeals to you, there are plenty of short courses and people in the Yorkshire Dales who'll advise or take you into the fields and woods to show you what's really edible and how to use what you find.
This month's Wild Garlic Oil was very welcome and at least enabled me to start that orderly display of preserves in my pantry. The rest is still imaginary.