In the current trend these days towards becoming
a vegetarian or vegan it makes sense to also consider growing your own
vegetables when moving towards a more plant based diet. Whether it is for the
health of the planet as so many young people are doing or for one’s own health
there are many good reasons to incorporate more plants into our lives.
The mental health benefits of gardening are also becoming well known. Anna Pavord last month at the LSI pleaded the case for gardening keeping us in out of the mental hospital and TV Monty Don has written openly about how gardening literally saved his life from Depression.
There is a general acceptance now that that locally produced or even homegrown food is the best way your impact on Earth. The amount of plastic we are throwing away is also a big environmental issue. Growing your own instead of buying your vegetables from the supermarkets wrapped in plastic and treated with industrial chemicals will mean you not only save money but helping to save the planet too. And it’s not as hard as most people think. So many of us are working harder and longer hours than ever before so many of us may feel we don’t have the time to get out into the garden. But you don’t need a garden to begin to grow your own food. For as little input as 5 minutes a day you can thriving vegetable and herb plants.
Firstly though think about what you like to eat. If you don’t eat salads there is no point growing salad leaves - though it would be good for your health! Pippa Greenwood from BBC Gardeners Question Time bagged the supermarket salad in her “Good Growing” talk last month at Groves Bridport.
“Not only are they expensive at around £2 a bag” Pippa said “but you can spend that money on seeds and get over 1000 bags of lettuce!”.
It almost seems ludicrous to me now to buy a supermarket salad. A small space on my kitchen window now sees me growing enough leaves for me and the neighbours for delicious peppery salads over the Summer. Really all the time it takes is a few seconds to water them which I do every day as I’m at the sink. I have no gardening experience but am enjoying great success in what seems a really easy crop to grow.
As well as having a selection of salad leaves I have also taken up growing my own herbs. Having recently gone Vegan in our household herbs have become even more important in the cooking and preparation of tasty meals. Fresh basil, coriander and parsley are now on hand at all times on my kitchen windowsill and not only saves me money but also the plastic that is came wrapped in.
“Herbs are so easy to grow, and we have over 70 varieties of herbs and edible flowers here at Little Groves Beaminster. Many of the herbs and plants grown here have great medicinal benefits also. For instance, a black Peppermint plant helps digestion issues and can bought for the same price of one packet of peppermint tea you are getting a fresh and constant supply”.
easy crops to grow and get you into growing your own vegetables include,
tomatoes, peas and beans, capsicums and chillies, carrots and root vegetables
as well as those essential cooking staples garlic and onions. All of these can
be grown in pots indoors or outdoors. As long as there is sunlight, water and good quality soil then there is no reason why you cannot enjoy your own delicious home grown produce. To start off on the right foot you only need to make sure your plants are set up in the right soil.
If you are not
sure how to get good quality soil then pop into Groves where you might bump
into Cyril Whitlock our very own local Grow your Own guru.
There are many other plant experts at Groves Nurseries who help you chooses the right components for setting up your home vegetable crop - in plots or pots!