Authors of Olives, Lemons and Grapes: Towards self-sufficiency in food: A guide to growing your own in a Mediterranean or Sub-tropical climate (ISBN-13: 978-3841771131). Website at Cyprusgardener.co.uk and Twitter at Cyprusgardener. We hope you find it all useful and if you want you can follow us to find out about life on our smallholding, recipes, olive oil, wildlife, self sufficiency and more. Please post your comments, as feedback is always helpful.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Companies cashing in on growing your own
Growing your own food has witnessed a huge rise in popularity over recent years. This may be due to the economic situation or a desire for healthier food or possibly a combination of the two We had an allotment (which is a small parcel of land rented from a local Council for growing food crops) for nearly twenty years in the UK and, on what was a very large site, the number of growers never numbered more than around 8 to10 up until about four years ago when there was a sudden demand for allotments. The site now has all sixty plots being cultivated and a waiting list. A similar story has been seen across the UK with once nearly empty sites now fully occupied and Council's across the UK having to open new allotment sites because of the demand by local residents for space to grow some of their own food.
For us growing our own food has always been a relatively cheap pastime but some companies are now cashing in on the desire for home grown food . For example, some companies are selling plug in carrot and beetroot plants at a cost of £1 per plant which is an expensive way to grow just one vegetable. You could buy a packet of beetroot or carrot seeds containing up to 500 seeds more cheaply and the seeds can be used for a few years. I have seen tomato plants for sale at up to £10 for 5 plants for which price it would be cheaper to buy your tomatoes from the supermarket. Whilst French bean plants sell for around £7 for six plants but once you have bought one packet of seed you can save some of each crop for the following year at no cost and French beans are very easy to grow.
If you want to grow your own crops always do so from seed to produce cost effective plants for your garden and produce vegetables at a fraction of the supermarket price. To reduce the price even more learn how to save your own seed for future crops and if you grow a surplus of any crop find out how to preserve your surplus for later use.
With a little gardening knowledge and a frugal approach to growing your own you can produce delicious fresh food cheaply.