Our regular contributor Matt Biggs gives us advice on how growing your own can be both cost effective and rewarding..
With prices rising and evidence of some empty shelves in the shops, now might be the time for a little bit of ‘Dig for Victory’ spirit!
There are so many ways of adding to your food options, from a few radishes to add some peppery perk to your salads to courgettes, beetroot, peas, Japanese and Chinese salad leaves, tomatoes and, of course, the humble spud!
Even if you have no space, balconies, hanging baskets and even windowsills can host something edible from chilli plants and herbs to hanging tomatoes – and there is nothing like picking your own home grown produce and taking it straight to the kitchen. Many local Colleges offer short courses to help you get started, there are books, videos, TV programmes and your local garden club – all there to get your growing energies into gear.
As well as the physical activity involved in preparing the ground and hoeing and weeding there is a mental benefit too and this is becoming more and more recognised as we rush from work to shop to home – a little time spent in the open air with the birds in the background is very beneficial and if you join a gardening club there is a social side too, as there is in having an allotment and sharing both gardening knowledge and produce.
Children too can join in – an easy to grow packet of seeds and a large pot or a patch of earth and off they go – and there is a lot of learning in a packet of seeds, from biology to botany, the maths of sowing and spacing, the responsibility of being in charge of something, watering and weeding and then the joy of sharing what is grown – it is win, win all the way, and if the odd slug or snail comes along, they too have a place!
To find out more about Matt visit his website: matthewbiggs.com