Well hello March! I have eagerly been awaiting you so I can dust off my gardening gloves and start growing my own vegetables or GIY - grow it yourself. Now I’m definitely no aficionado when it comes to gardening but you’ll be amazed at how easy it can be to get growing, one pot at a time.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have an allotment, a garden or even a patio but you’d be surprised at what food you can still grow, even in the smallest space or window box.
When it comes to pesticides, fungicides, and other chemicals, all crops are by no means equal.
Non-organic spinach, kale and other leafy greens top the Environmental Working Group's 2014 list of worst toxic offenders due to their high pesticide exposure. Find organic too expensive? It's incredibly easy to grow them yourself in a container, you won't be disappointed!
Last year I had loads of spinach, lettuce gems and rocket. Ok, admittedly my kale was attacked by aphids but with a little love and protection from the Scottish frost over the winter, a few die-hard stalks are actually reappearing. Clearly, it’s pretty hardy stuff.
I was so surprised at what I managed to grow in small containers. One pot alone had runner beans, spinach, little gem lettuces, radish and onions. The pièce de résistance had to be the courgettes with their pretty yellow courgette flowers (pictured left).
It’s seriously satisfying (and convenient) to pop out and cut some fresh lettuce leaves straight from the garden. No more slimy bags of lettuce rotting at the back of the fridge and best of all no pesticides! There’s also the advantage of knowing your own veg is super fresh without having done time in a cold storage unit (a la the supermarkets). That just depletes all the vital nutrients.
How to GIY affordable super foods:
Cut a few holes in the base of a container. Throw in a few small stones and/or broken sticks to form a layer at the base then fill the remaining 2/3 with compost. Scatter seeds on top and then gently scatter a very thin layer of compost on top of that. Ta-dah! You’re very own vegetables providing oodles of nutrients in about 8 weeks. Just remember to water regularly (and daily in the summer).
If you're a novice like me experiment with:
Lettuce (little gems, red lettuce, rocket, spinach)
Herbs – mint, rosemary, thyme, parsley
Below is yours truly last September, a proud and somewhat wind swept moment admiring my first crop! A late bloomer, I only planted the seeds in July, so this year I hope you’ll join me and get sowing this March!
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