History of the K.F.H.S.
Affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society
The Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies was founded on 9th December 1938. The aim of this newly established organisation was to bring together the Kent County Garden Produce Committee – an established organisation with 41 Societies and county-wide membership, and the Kent Garden Committee. The Kent Federation continued to prosper during the War years. This was a time when it was vital that the public helped the war effort by producing their own food.
The famous World War II ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign encouraged British people to overcome food shortages by growing their own produce. The movement was so successful that parks and bomb sites were dug up and turned into vegetable patches. By the late 1940s there were an estimated 1.4 million allotment sites in the UK and Kent had an incredible active amateur gardening community.
The post war food revolution that brought access to frozen foods, supermarkets and the introduction of mass-produced ready-meals, saw many gardeners abandon their allotments. The effect of this meant many councils sold off their pitches during the 80s and 90s because people simply didn’t want to use them. The total number of allotments across Britain today is estimated at around 300,000, a stark contrast to the 1940’s.
By 1957 the Kent County Garden Produce Committee had disbanded and the Federation stood alone and within this time had grown from 41 to well over 100 societies. In more recent times societies and clubs from East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London have been invited to join us. Since then the number has fluctuated and the current level hovers around 150 mark. At present our affiliated societies have a combined membership of over 13,000 proving that amateur gardening continues to thrive. The other positive news is that allotments are once again being sought after, particularly in town areas.
Another encouraging aspect is the ever-increasing number of individual members with more always welcome. Judges and Speakers also continue to request inclusion in the Federations Judges and Speakers list which remains a much sought after document by the societies. Talks by speakers do not always centre around horticulture, as many other interesting topics can be found in this published biennial book.
Although there have been many changes over the years in which the KFHS communicates and interacts with its members, such as emails and this website, the core of the Society remains in its Summer and Autumn Shows. The introduction of a Mini Spring Show for members at the Annual General Meeting has now become very popular. All of these shows are where the South Eastern gardening enthusiasts can showcase their skills by entering the many different classes, which includes domestic and craft classes in the Summer and Autumn shows.
For further information please contact the Secretary.
Membership renewals are now overdue – if you have not yet sent in your affiliation form please action a.s.a.p.
Thanks to all societies and members who have already returned their forms and Subscriptions.
All society programmes received for 2023 events are now listed on the
`Societies` shows and Plant Sales` Calendar page.
Ditton Community Centre
SUNDAY JULY 2nd
Staging 8.00 to 11.30
Open to the public 13.45
Winning Entry at the 2023 Annual General Meeting
Mini Spring Show
Peter Wheatley`s beautiful Hyacinth -`Aqua`
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