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Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Making a start. .. to prepare the allotment, vegetable plot for next year....

The weather being rather 'odd' this year has brought about the task of sorting and tidying the plot earlier than in previous years.

Lettuce plants are bolting  (going to seed) in haste. The first early potatoes and second early potatoes are out of the ground and being enjoyed cooked in various tasty meals. One of the things I like about growing your own is that it guides your hand as to what you will eat. Seasonal food is almost a unheard of concept in the supermarkets but growing your own fruit and vegetables brings you back  in touch with nature. 

It is not long after you start to harvest your first fruit and vegetables, when you have just begun to grow them that you realise some very important things :   
  • Control is an illusion, you have to work with and not against nature.

  • After the efforts of growing your own food you never 'lightly' discard food again. You begin to look for ways and recipes to make the most of what you have grown in the way of fruit and vegetables.

  • Composting makes total sense, once you understand that growing food is a cycle. What I have harvested I use, what we cannot eat such as peelings and 'tops and tails' etc. I compost. But  there is sometimes a reason not to compost if it might put disease into the compost heap.

  • Composting is about putting back into the land because growing fruit and vegetables takes something from it. I do not mean this in a tree hugging way - the soil needs replenishing in some way. I never use chemical fertilizers on the soil so if I do not want to deplete it I need to find other ways to 'feed' it.
For now I am busy weeding the plot, as the weeds seem to be having a brilliant summer. The strawberry beds need clearing of weeds and the old straw can be added to the compost heap.

I am planning to sow some green manure crops in any empty patches of land after the tidy up.

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a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote