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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.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Why I feel different about food since I started to grow my own fruit and vegetables.

Because I grow some of the food that we eat, I hate to waste food.

Once you have nurtured a plant, maybe from a tiny seed or even from something that looks dead or dormant and encouraged it to produce fruit or vegetables, that end up on your plate providing you with a tasty meal, wasting food seems wrong.

There are good reasons why wasting food feels wrong,  for those that lack this sentiment, then the chances are they are wasting money as well as food. There are also hidden costs that many people may be unaware of.

When you discard food you are actually wasting more than the money that you spent on the food item at the checkout.

(Food is not really classified as an item by me but more about that another day).

  • Discarded food, is often sent to landfill. 
Land to be used for landfill is becoming difficult to find.
Your household waste also needs collection and transportation to the landfill site.
Once land is used for landfill it cannot easily be used for other purposes in the future.

  • The food that is bought from supermarkets has factors in its cost that are both financial and environmental. 
Each and every food product has its own food miles, this basically is the number of miles it has travelled from the place it was grown until it reaches your kitchen.

It  also has had an effect because of the resources used to produce it.
These are things like  water*, fertilizers, chemicals and use of land etc.

*Water has to be cleaned and pumped from place to place. Some of the fruit and vegetables that you buy would have been watered out of necessity, some are watered as part of a routine or even to meet the demands of the purchaser of the food product, especially with things like potatoes.

  • When you buy vegetables and fruit that are uniform  in size and shape, other less perfect looking pieces are not on display. So even if you are willing to pay more for it to look immaculate the other pieces of fruit and vegetables need to be sold at a lower cost or used up in some other way. If not they might end up discarded and if not composted or converted in some other way they end up - on landfill sites.
More thoughts on this later, the more I grow (my own fruit and vegetables), the more food waste seems irrational and selfish.

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