There is nothing more satisfying than eating food you have grown yourself. To be able to share food that you have cared for and know everything that has gone into it, is second to none. Growing your own food allows you to enjoy healthy, delicious, inexpensive and convenient produce that is good for the environment.
Its easy to assume growing your own food is either for people that have farming background and or have a farm. Or people that are retired. Growing your own food is much easier and a lot more fulfilling than you think. Its easy to think growing your own food you need large space, which is not accessible to many. This shouldn’t however stop you from eating food rich in nutrients, no added chemicals that wont cost you an arm and a leg. So without further ado let us get into a small list to get you started.
The list below is great for new gardeners without much space. We have touched on the possibility on using an allotment in the previous post Growing your own food which is a great option once you get going. But for now let us get into growing indoors and start simple.
Herbs make food so much richer and are a powerhouse of nutrients.
You can either grab some seeds from a garden centre or buy a potted herb plant from the supermarket you can often find slightly peaky-looking ones in the reduced section – take them home and replant in your window box and you can keep them alive or bring them to life. Basil, chives, parsley and sage will grow happily in a sunny window box or in a plant pot by the window, and oregano, thyme, mint and rosemary will all do well both indoors and outside in a garden.
2. Onions and Garlic
To grow onions and garlic at home, look out for those green shoots and plant them as whole onion bulbs or single garlic cloves in well-drained soil in a growing bag.
You need to make sure they’re in soil by around spring or autumn and leave them to do their thing, ensuring they have adequate water.
To start fill an old bin half full with compost. Then, plant one or two whole potatoes in there that have “eyes”. The trick is not to plant too many, as they need a lot of space for the roots to sprout and grow so make sure the space is adequate and they are spread.
Once you start to see the green shoots emerge above the soil, cover with a bit more compost, wait until they emerge again and then repeat.
Continue this process until the bag/bin is full, should be around 10–20 weeks later, your potatoes will be ready for eating when the foliage starts to wither, they’re ready to be dug out. Make sure you always remember to keep them watered.
Keep your bin/bag propped up on something to allow water to drain out, and if you’re growing them inside, cover the bottom of the bin with stones before you add your soil so excess water will drain to the bottom.
You can either buy tomato seeds and plant them, or opt for a young plant that already has a vine if you want to start producing sooner.
Once they’re of a decent size, you can transfer them to your grow bag, or you can buy special varieties for hanging baskets too and they will do great.
You might have to use a wooden stake and tie the vine to it with garden or balcony wire so the plants stay upright.
Once they’ve started to turn red, pick them. Don’t put tomatoes in the fridge until they’re ripe, otherwise they’ll lose a load of their taste!
All you have to do is put the root in a shallow bowl or cup of water by a window sill, making sure it’s not totally submerged (but spraying the top with water occasionally so it doesn’t dry out).
A good idea is to stick some cocktail sticks in the sides and rest them on the bowl edges so the top doesn’t go underwater.
Amazingly, after about a week, a new little celery head will pop up, and at this point you can transfer it into some soil in a pot or grow bag. You’ll have a whole new edible celery within a few weeks!
To grow healthier food, you need to remember there are loads of other foods you can regrow from scraps, such as avocados, spring onions and ginger. This list can go on and on, but i hope you get the general idea. The key thing is to start small, it doesnt have to be the list above but the point is to help you see that it does not need to be complicated nor a laborious task. The more amazing by product of growing your own as a parent is that its a wonderful activity for kids to get involved in. They learn the process of growth and will have a healthier mental connection to food and its source and origin. Its helping cultivate respect for food, responsibility about waste and to create a healthier eating habits.
On that note, happy growing.