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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.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Thoughts on gardening, growing fruit and vegetables, learning from mistakes and experience

Gardening and growing your own fruit and vegetables teaches you many things, you learn things over time whether you intend to or not. In fact I believe as well as learning about growing things you gain knowledge about yourself and also a type of acceptance. By acceptance I mean that you learn to go with the flow to a certain extent on the things you will discover are impossible to change, the seasons do not always follow the start times you expect them to, the weather can be the gardeners friend or enemy.

Money can buy you lots of luxuries to use in the garden, it can buy you the most expensive plants to begin your garden with, it can pay for a huge water bill as you keep your lawns green and you can pay someone to weed the intruders from your rows of veggies or your flower borders. But rich and poor alike, the potatoes can suffer from blight, the greenfly can suck the goodness from your roses just when they were looking at their best ever. I am I think trying to say that in the things that are uncontrollable gardening and growing is a great leveller and educator about life.

We might live in a world where the illusion is that if you do everything 'by the book' you will get the best results, for yourself and for your garden. The way I see it is that growing things, flowers, fruit and vegetables, plants and shrubs is not like cooking from a recipe book, where provided you have the right ingredients you are 'almost' certainly guaranteed a predictable result.

The pleasure of gardening and growing things comes not just from picking and harvesting the things you have grown from scratch, nurtured and cared for, it also comes from  having been fortunate,lucky or otherwise outwitting the factors that may have prevented the successful result.

Hope this makes sense, I know it is different to my usual posts here, but it is a thought I would like to share.
Partly because when one begin to grow things any failures might seem to stem from mistakes or lack of knowledge on the gardeners part. The good and the bad news about gardening and growing your own is that we all suffer from failures at times, but at times the things we achieve with luck and the right conditions exceed our expectations of our humble attempts. We learn to work with nature and the earth, rather than fighting against it. It is because these things matter to me that I grow organically and refuse to use chemicals on my garden or allotment. I use green manure crops at times to protect and nourish the soil, I make compost from simple 'throw away items' this gives me something to pay back the soil for growing has taken from it. I am interested in perma-culture but am just starting to learn about it. If you can leave the earth you grow on enriched and not depleted then you are in turn rewarding it for its efforts.

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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