Grow some of your own this year

It's good to see finally some of the big supermarkets now selling some fruit and veg from producers which doesn't quite meet the perfect 10 in looks. Until recently, supermarkets were routinely rejecting produce from farmers which didn't have the look expected for it's aisles. Ugly veg tastes just as good!

The debate as to whether consumers will buy in to this softening of policy is one for the long term. Surely if we can see that buying this produce will hopefully reduce costs and change general attitudes, then the good work of recent TV programmes, notably one by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, will have been worth the effort. It can be difficult to change mindsets used to supermarket only offerings. The fact that the big four are facilitating a change is great credit to all concerned.

So how about making some veg yourself this year? A few pounds saved? Educating our kids (or are they educating us?!!) into the grow your own philosophy can be good fun and worthwhile. But what to do?

Perhaps start simply this year with root veg, onions, parsnips, carrots and potatoes. If you have little outdoor space, grow in some bags, plant in soil and compost, water regularly and harvest in Aug/Sep. That's about it. If you wish, progress to brassica veg as you go forward.

Send us email for any specific tips for your growing. Once you have yielded a few of your own veg in the autumn, it's like a healthy drug, you'll want to have a go again. And that's what it's all about .

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