Do you have any space where you live? A balcony? Patio? Windowsill? Do you have a garden? An allotment? Or even a farm!
Perhaps you have nothing of your own. There are many community gardens and allotments sprouting up all over the country. That gives the added benefit of meeting others and sharing the joy of growing your own food. In the summer, many remote hedgerows are full of blackberries going to waste. Why limit your concept of a garden to the artificial boundaries of your garden fence?
Clearly, what space we all have limits our ability to grow our own food. Few of us are likely to become self-sufficient straight away. And in the early years, there will be success and less success. But once we get started and grow in confidence, who knows where that will lead?
But it’s always worth considering growing your own food. There seems to be something deeply emotional about growing your own food. Ask gardeners. They know the value of watching nature, the wildlife in the garden, and the soil, the passing of the seasons. The way some plants grow well in some places but not in others.
In this section on nutrition, we will be taking a look at growing our own food. Perhaps that extends beyond plants into eggs or even meat.
I have many friends who like to garden. After a long break, I have even started again myself.
What this section is about is growing our food with respect for our natural environment—soil health and leaving space for nature, but also ensuring that our crops thrive. There is nothing more demoralising than watching your first lettuce sprout, only to have the seedlings hoovered up by a slug in the night. So we need to know how to work with that scenario.
I was in a store recently, and in the gardening section were all of the various substances you could add to your garden to keep it going. Apart from the miracle fertilizers, nearly all of the packages had the words ‘kill’, control,’ ‘eradicate’ and other such terms.
That is NOT what we are aiming for here. There is nothing wrong with harvesting your fruits and leaving some for the wildlife, leaving areas untouched where you can, so that natural predators of your garden pests can maintain a healthy balance of wildlife.