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Market Gardening about 1920 - James Barnard

James Barnard was a successful market gardener in Badsey at the beginning of the twentieth century. He kept a ledger of all the produce he sold - the page for June 1923 is shown and below is a summary of all the produce he sold in 1913 and in 1923. Littleton and Badsey railway station was important in getting the produce to the wholesale markets in London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham.

The table shows the produce sold by James Barnard in each month of 1913 and 1923.

Year 1913 1923
January Sprouts, tops, Normanton apples. Sprouts, sage, pickling onions, large onions.
February Sprouts, Normanton apples, sage. Sprouts, onions, wallflowers.
March - Onions, wallflowers, sage.
April Onions, asparagus. Wallflowers, onions, lettuce.
May Asparagus (extra special, special, best and sprue), sage, onions. Lettuce, onions, asparagus (special, best & sprue), sage.
June Asparagus (extra special, special, best and sprue), peas. Lettuce, onions, asparagus (special, best & sprue), sage, flowers, broad beans, strawberries.
July Peas, asparagus (best), runner beans, dwarf beans, onions. Strawberries, broad beans, beans, dwarf beans, asparagus (extra special, special & sprue), peas, bower.
August Pears, Essels pears, plums, Victoria plums, Pershore plums, Orleans, runner beans, dwarf beans, marrows, tomatoes. Apples, pears, sage, runner beans, dwarf beans, bower, egg plums, Victoria plums, fern, marrows, tomatoes.
September Tomatoes (best and rough), runner beans, prunes, marrows. Tomatoes (and seconds), egg plums, prunes, marrows, runner beans, dwarf beans, peas, sprouts.
October Tomatoes, runner beans, marrows, sage, sprouts, shallots, cauliflowers. Sprouts, marrows, runner beans, dwarf beans, apples, best apples, Normanton apples, tomatoes, sage, cauliflowers.
November Sprouts, sage, shallots. Sprouts, sage, tomatoes, apples, cauliflowers, tops, savoys.
December - Sprouts, savoys, sage, tops.

Asparagus was sometimes recorded as 'asp' or 'grass'. It was graded by thickness with the thinnest called 'sprue'. 'Fern' and 'bower' probably both refer to the fern-like leaves of asparagus used for flower arranging. Savoy is a cabbage with wrinkled leaves. Shallots are a type of small onion. Tops are sprout leaves. Wallflowers are also listed as 'gillies'.

See also Letters by Badsey Council School children describing life in a market gardening community in 1933.

See also Digging for a Living: Market Gardening in Badsey and Aldington.

Details of the Asparagus video.

Richard Phillips is grateful to Pat Goldstraw for lending the ledger and providing other information about James Barnard.