Guest Post – Growing your own for delicious food…

Throughout the year, it’s great to have access to organically grown food, but have you thought about growing your own? In this guest post, Lorraine Thompson shares with us her love of the soil…

If I had to describe myself, I would say “I garden, therefore I am”.  I love working with the soil, planting seeds and with love and care watching nature take it’s course delivering a beautiful abundance of flowers and food.

Basil enjoying a sunny spot on a kitchen windowsill.  I bought this as a small plant in March and it kept going until December by which time it was huge.  Lots of lovely raw soups were made with the addition of this wonderful herb.

Basil enjoying a sunny spot on a kitchen windowsill. I bought this as a small plant in March and it kept going until December by which time it was huge. Lots of lovely raw soups were made with the addition of this wonderful herb.

Gardening is the perfect way to grow your own fruits and vegetables and take control of how your food is produced to ensure that it is organic (that the soil is rich in organic matter and that both soil and plants are free of herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals) and as fresh as possible (food is packed enzymes). With careful choosing of which vegetables and fruit to grow it is possible to take a harvest all year round. Besides the joy of taking something from your garden to your plate this can also help to widen the variety of raw foods on your table and lower the cost of eating organically. The Grow Your Own movement has taken off in a big way in the UK and Ireland with more of us recognising and experiencing the benefits of being able to grow at least a portion of our own food. Growing Your Own can be as a simple as growing a few herbs on a sunny windowsill to add flavour to your pot. If you have a little more time you can apply to the local council for an allotment enabling you to grow all manner of fruit and veg. I have seen Jamaican pumpkin, skellion and callaloo abound on allotments. If you prefer the idea of growing food as part of a community there are exciting schemes that are available like Community Gardening where neighbours come together to grow vegetables in disused and green spaces. These initiatives have seen some great creativity up and down the country, for example, some streets have neighbours have turned their front gardens, plant pots and hanging baskets into a veritable paradise of different foods which they share with each other. What I love about growing in a community atmosphere like this is that you can often trade produce with your neighbour. An over-abundance of courgettes and be swapped with your neighbour’s over-abundance of tomatoes, rhubarb, lettuce or whatever it may be filling your fridge and freezer with unexpected and welcomed goodness.

Beef tomatoes container grown enjoying this baking spot at the rear of my garden last summer.

Beef tomatoes container grown enjoying this baking spot at the rear of my garden last summer.

Growing food is accessible to us all regardless of the size of space we may have, from the urban city dweller with only a window box to a garden in the suburbs with more space.  Children love to help plant seeds, water plants and watch things grow and it can be a great way to engage their minds and spend quality time together with the whole family.  So, as Summer begins to greet us once more, go on, get a trowel, a bag of organic compost, some organic seeds and grow something delicious!

For ideas on what to grow and to get started check out these websites for guidance and inspiration:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/digin/
http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Grow-Your-Own/Growing-in-containers/vegetables-containers
http://www.gardenersworld.com/blogs/gardeners-musings/growing-veg-in-small-spaces/3100.html

About Lorraine

Lorraine Thompson

Lorraine Thompson

I’m Lorraine, I’m an avid and passionate gardener with a love of organic foods. I first started gardening around 9 years ago when I first had a garden of my own, but in truth I have been gardening my whole life right from helping my dad to mow the lawn and pruning roses.

Besides gardening my passions are eating healthy, organic, raw and ethical foods, Caribbean foods, supporting local farmers, small organic farmers abroad and living in as an organic way as possible.  I love to talk with people about this to share knowledge and ideas. I have a blog where I write about all these things and would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

You can find me at http://www.oneorganicjamaican.wordpress.com. where you can ask me questions about this or any other articles. I’d also love to see you on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneorganicjamaican

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