Grow your own food

The prospect of creating an edible vegetable garden can be all-consuming for most people, it’s easy to get over excited. Spurred by the overwhelming urge to become a wild goddess, you find yourself up at all hours, glass of wine in hand designing your mini oasis.

You may have good intentions but for the time poor, possibly a misguided effort?

My advice? Start off small, if you have young children, get them involved, it’s not hard to get started and it doesn’t take much effort.

Even before children start school you can begin to educated them though projects that highlight the origins of their food. You will most likely find, with a hand in the growing process they might just be inclined to try something new, maybe even something green! Shock horror

If your limited with space, why not join one of the many Community garden projects or start by planting a mini herb garden. You’ll save loads of money and you will be rewarded with a generous crop in no time at all.

Dig around in your recycle box and pull out some tins. Whatever you have is fine, big or small.

Wash and sand back any sharp edges. Get a nail and punch a hole in the bottom for drainage.

Fill the cans with seed raising mix and press down lightly to compact the soil. Sow seeds or seedlings such as basil, thyme, chilli, parsley, mint or any other herb you like to use regularly in the kitchen and water in well. Keep in a shaded area until they settle in then move to a partly sunny window sill or kitchen area.

Within a month you’ll be making pesto till the cows come home. If you end up with a bumper crop just cut your herbs 5 cm from the base and tie with string and hang upside down to dry. Drying herbs has the benefit of making the kitchen smell lovely and can be utilised for months to come in soups, pizza, teas and stews.

Last year my bumper spearmint crop kept the whole office busy brewing delicious tea for months. This year my basil seems the happiest so the family seem to be eating pesto with everything, pesto pasta, pesto mayonnaise, pesto butter, chilli pesto, you name it!

As my grandmother would say, there’s are certain satisfaction and reward in growing your own produce, be it a few herbs or a whole vegetable patch, gardening can certainly be soothing to the soul and a truly rewarding for the heart.