To some people, it may seem like a stretch to make a connection between gardening and climate change. There is, however, a direct relationship between how we as a nation grow and distribute our food and the carbon emissions that are a major contributor to a warming Earth.
The benefits of homegrown crops span far beyond a fresh salad or hearty tomato soup, they’re also a gamer-changer for our lifestyle and environment. From improving soil health and building a diverse ecosystem, to enhancing the nutritional value of our meals, there are endless ways that we can reap the rewards of growing our own produce.
To mark National Growing for Wellbeing Week, which celebrates the magic of homegrown crops, we caught up with James, our Project Engineer, who of late has developed quite the green thumb. He tells us all about the incredible produce he’s grown in his garden, showing us that you don’t need acres of land to grow fresh, organic food!
Many of us discovered new interests during the pandemic, myself included. After relocating out of the city centre toward the countryside, I fixed up an old greenhouse and found joy in gardening, experimenting with growing a variety of crops. I now have a garden overflowing with fresh, vibrant produce!
Carrots, rhubarb, peas, cucumber, peppers, chillies, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, turnips, tomatoes, beans, courgettes, kohlrabi, potatoes, strawberries, herbs, chard, onions, garlic, spring onions, beetroot…. There may more but can’t remember off the top of my head!
We’re proud to have implemented a circular process – using our chickens’ waste as fertiliser for our vegetable garden. This provides our crops with a slow-release source of nutrients including nitrogen, which is the main component that plants need for green leafy growth. We feed the chickens the stalks/leaves of our produce and in return, they provide us with delicious, organic eggs. It’s a win-win for both us and the environment.
It’s certainly a sustainable option if you have the space, with just a few simple tools and some seeds, you can gain a sizeable return from a small investment – and nothing beats the flavour of freshly picked fruit and veg.
By growing your own crops, you have the choice to grow organic, without the use of nasty chemicals. It’s not only healthier, but it’s also an incredibly fulfilling experience to see your hard work and dedication come to fruition in your own garden. The tan is also a bonus!
We compost all of our food and garden waste, creating a nutrient-rich soil that feeds our plants and supports the next harvest. It’s a small but impactful way we’re giving back to the environment.
Homegrown cherry tomatoes are a game-changer. Once you taste the difference between store-bought and homegrown, there’s no going back!
I think we’ve just about tried our hand at growing every crop possible in the space that we have but we’ll continue to learn and adapt our methods with the aim of creating the best produce we can.