Why grow your own? - Introduction





See the fruitwise test video

This section looks at reasons to consider growing your own food, with some links to discussions and notes on growing your own vegetables.


July 2012 Update:

Our initial plan was to add info and reviews of growing products and growing methods, but this project was put on hold as we found ourselves busy getting established in Oxfordshire and just not enough hours in the day!


Suddenly we looked up to realise that it wasn't just months that had gone by, but years!

A bit like being Rip van Winkle but without the beardy growth.


The core information we first published still seems valid, but we have so busy just trying to do things that spending time writing about it online has been relegated down the list of 'things we must get done'.


At the end of 2008 we found ourselves in Oxfordshire trying to renovate an old kitchen garden - and you can find some journal entries on that here.


Then, planning to get a new business established in 2009, and starting it in 2010, the last 2 years have proved much more challenging than we expected (stupid of us, I know), but time has literally flown by, and if there are things we have learned, they include:

  • Start small.

  • Don't underestimate what the world will throw in your direction in terms of weather and the unexpected.

  • Make sure you are growing as close to home as you can.

  • Grow a variety of things.

  • Think about calories.

  • Salads might be fashionable but there is only so much of it you can eat - especially if you've spent the week working physically - you want stuff that gives you energy, and grazing leaves does not do it!


2010 and 2011 proved to be challenging years for our vegetable plot (e.g. in 2010 we thought we'd try outdoor tomatoes and lost more than 100 plants to blight, just before the tomatoes were ripe).

2012 has, so far, been a bit of a dud. The variations in weather (even over the course of a single day) have not helped at all. Where we would normally have expected a glut of things like courgettes by July, 2012 has been a disaster with plants stalling as temperatures fluctuate up and down, and so much rain that we might have been better off trying fish farming.


If anything, the importance of knowing how to grow your own food has increased, but, the level of effort is not small; and whilst we firmly believe that nothing beats stuff you have grown yourself - when you look at the time and work involved (e.g. potatoes), it is difficult to set that time aside when you are struggling to earn enough money to live
and potatoes cost next to nothing when you consider the effort of growing your own crop.


However.. and this is a big one - what happens if the supply of cheap food in a supermarket gets interrupted?


Or perhaps something more probable: Just look at the 'great petrol scare' - if something actually happened to interrupt food supplies or push prices up even more, then knowing how to grow your own could suddenly become very important and much more cost effective.


The amount of labour involved is significant, and as things stand, why would someone want to spend the time?


Well, these and other things we plan to cover in upcoming articles - we've learned a lot over the last few years, now we hope to write a little about it and see where that leads us.


Veg and herbs - Testing and Review

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