It’s hard to imagine that this vegetable project of mine only started at the end of April 2008. It was a stop gap until we get some Iwade Allotments. I didn’t know at the time if I would stick to it, like it or ever eat anything out of my back garden. After digging up most of my flower border I am now totally hooked. I am constantly researching to check to see if I am doing it correctly and what to grow next. I planted my first carrots (Maestro) today from seed that should be ready in October, and left it to the last minute as I thought they would be a waste of time. After seeing the prices in the supermarkets escalate weekly I decided to give it a go. I have never been a very patient person but I am learning gradually. If the packet says 12 weeks then that’s when they will be ready.
There is nothing to beat the satisfaction of saying “I grew that” and of course it tastes much better as it’s fresh from the garden to the kitchen in seconds. It also makes you realise how much we take food for granted. Driving your car to the supermarket a few miles away to pick up vegetables that have probably been flown around the world, that’s hardly fresh, is it? Obviously I can’t grow enough to feed our family of three all the time but with the help of a bigger patch - an allotment - it might just be possible.
Someone once told me that they hated the thought of walking into a supermarket and having to buy vegetables when theirs ran out in their garden. So they got an allotment and now have two! I’m beginning to see what they mean.
A few months on and we’ve eaten radishes, spinach, salad leaves of various types, wild Rocket, French beans and courgettes out of our small vegetable patch and it’s only June! I think its money well spent, you know where your veg has come from and what’s been put on it (or not) and of course it’s kept me fit with all the digging and watering. We still have French beans of various types, runner beans, tomatoes, summer squash, broccoli, sweetcorn, shallots, more spinach, cucumbers and red onions to eat yet. And I am now planning some winter vegetables and may extend the small patch I have this autumn.
Most things are grown from seed but it’s been just as cost effective to buy in some plug plants. I was discussing this with my friend Paula today about the leeks I bought as seedlings. They were £3 in total and I have 45 growing for this autumn/winter. That’s only 6p per leek. It would have been even cheaper if I'd got round to planting my seeds I have. It will be interesting to see how much they are in the supermarket later this year. I don’t have a greenhouse yet, only a small pop-up one. But saying that it has been very handy as I am now using it for the cucumbers as the British weather is not going to grow my out-door variety very well! Most of the seeds were grown in my dining room at the back of the house until the weather was warmer and I got my pop-up greenhouse. So you see it’s easy to grow most things from seed, if I can do it anyone can!
I hope to give you a weekly up-date now that my Blog is live for all Iwade residents to read (why do I say yes to things all the time?) And don’t forget that if you have an interest in gardening you can meet at the Woolpack pub each month for a chat and a drink. A friendly bunch of Iwade residents go along, chat and swap seeds etc. Hope to see you there.