With the ever-increasing cost of food, many of us are looking for cost-effective ways to make our pounds stretch that bit further.
One idea which has become increasingly popular is to grow our own food. The added health benefits, knowing where your food has come from and other advantages are added bonuses to the fact that you will be saving money in the longterm. Whether you live on a farm or only have a small window box, there are lots of ways that you can grow your own food at home. Here’s some ideas how:
Start off small
Even with good intentions to grow your own there is the temptation to throw yourself into the deep end with an allotment and then feeling overwhelmed. If you have the space, set up a little vegetable patch at the bottom of your garden to begin with to test the water. After a while and after some success you may fall in love with gardening and want bigger things like an allotment, but at least it’s a progressive change rather than going in head first.
Get involved in a local community garden scheme
Community gardens come in all shapes and sizes. They’re a great way to meet new friends and connect with different cultures and people with different interests, whilst working as a team to grow your produce. If you don’t have a garden or on the waiting list for an allotment, but your gardening fingers are itching to get started then this is a great way to get involved.
Use old paint tins or yoghurt pots
If you’re lacking green space in your garden, an easy and simple way to grow your own would be to recycle old yoghurt pots or even paint pots. Plants will essentially grow in anything that you put them in as long as they are looked after and nurtured. You could plant the seeds in yoghurt pots then progress to old paint pots when they get bigger.
Grow your own herbs
Growing your own doesn’t mean that you have to be bringing potatoes and courgettes home, growing your own herbs also counts. Either by planting straight from the seed or by looking after herb plants bought from the supermarket can add lots of flavour to your meals. Herbs only require a small amount of space so if you are stuck for room they are ideal. They also add a splash of colour to the kitchen as decorative items too.
Choose easy plants to grow
Plants can be difficult to grow, especially if you are new to the game. To start it may be best to pick easy growers to build your confidence and experience up before moving on to more difficult varieties.
Make use of window boxes
You don’t have to have a big sprawling garden to grow your own food, even the smallest of spaces can be useful. Lots of people with balconies or small terraces as their only source of outdoor space are using window boxes to grow their own with great success.
My grandparents are very green-fingered and had their own allotments which I often helped out on when I was younger. I loved the fact that they could just walk to the back of their garden and pick something that they had grown for dinner. A favourite was my nan’s homemade chips using freshly picked new potatoes from the garden. To this day, even without her beloved allotments and smaller garden she’s still growing vegetables and berries in pots, bless her!
Do you like to grow your own food at home? Have you discovered any health benefits?
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