Friday, 2 April 2010

Dig In and Grow Your Own

I was happy to note that the Grow Your Own 'movement' that began last year has continued into 2010 and is being embraced by more businesses and individuals.  Last year, I succeeded in growing delicious tomatoes, runner beans, strawberries and spring onions.  This was my first proper foray into Grow Your Own (I had previously grown baby tomatoes years ago on a tiny scale) and I thoroughly enjoyed it (bar a few worries about whether I watered too much or too little).  I also planted radishes, carrots, and beetroot but they were miniscule and underdeveloped due to ignorance on my part (and too tight a spot for the carrots).  The garlic I planted became poorly so I shall try again this year along with potatoes, more tomatoes and onions, various herbs, beans, carrots and more.  I look forward to really digging in and tucking in!

I missed out on the BBC's Dig In campaign for free seeds last year but I was informed yesterday by a friend that my seeds for 2010 had arrived!  Here is a photo of some of the seeds I planted last month... they are growing strong but it is all a learning curve for me (thanks to a kind friend who is watering in my absence!).  I shall have a load of seeds to plant when I return - both crops and flowers and wild flowers for our bee and butterfly population.

For anyone in the UK who may be interested, you're still in time to request the Dig In seeds if you fill out your details here.  Be quick as they ran out of seeds very early last time.  Hopefully you'll get your pack (with 5 different veggies) within three weeks as I did mine.  If you have never done this before, this is a perfect way to learn and to try your hand at growing something you can eat... it's true: it does taste so much better if you grow it yourself!

Another bit of good Grow Your Own news is that there is a new programme due on BBC2 next Wednesday with gardener Alys Fowler entitled The Edible Garden.  The description sounds promising and involves an interesting way of weaving in food crops with flowers and roses.

Are you trying your hand at growing your own this year?  Or are you an experienced gardener who delights in growing tasty crops?  If you're outside the UK... does your country run similar campaigns?  I'd love to hear from you as I find this quite exciting and my aim is to gradually become more self-sufficient, healthier and more knowledgeable about the food that I eat.


Diane said...

We live in a condo so no garden, and it's just the 2 of us. I hope yours flourishes! great pictures.

sunt_lacrimae_rerum said...

I recently discovered your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it! Au reservoir! I, too, love EF Benson.

Rochester Reader said...

Diane: thank you for your compliment:-) Do you have space on a sunny windowsill or a balcony? You could always grow fragrant and delicious herbs and salads on a windowsill and various vegetables in containers on your balcony. The blog 'London Vegetable Garden' has quite inspiring photos of growing veg on a balcony.

Rochester Reader said...

sunt_lacrimae_rerum: welcome to my blog! I am so glad you like it and hope that you will visit again :-) Yes, Benson is wonderful! I shall be popping over to your blog soon.

Cottage Garden said...

I'm dedicating more of my (small) garden to veggies this year in new raised beds, having previously raised tomatoes and cucumbers in grow bags together with salad leaves, herbs and strawberries. I watched the Edible Garden last week and was heartened to see that Alys also gardens in a small space! So many people are seeing the advantages in growing your own and I'm gaining much inspiration from fellow bloggers - we can all encourage each other! Look forward to following your progress Cristina.


Rochester Reader said...

Jeanne: thank you for your comments. I am enjoying your posts about veggie gardening. Blogs are such a great resource in this way and yes, a wonderful way to encourage each other! I am envious that you grew cucumbers. I had one small plant last year but it didn't amount to anything... bought a couple seedlings from B&Q a month ago and one got mildew or something and dried out. The other is barely holding on... I think I shall have to give them a miss this year :-)

On the bright side, I am anticipating early strawberries and the lettuce and brussels sprouts are still growing :-) Also recently planted potatoes and three types of tomatoes (seeds). Fingers crossed most turn out okay. It is all trial and error for me - this is my second year doing this - and I have to try not to stress over the plants... heehee. Heartening to see that even Alys Fowler couldn't get her tomatoes to survive... so newbies shouldn't feel too bad. I was lucky that my tomatoes were healthy and delicious last year!