Rising cost of health: the grow your own solution
Have you ever thought of growing your own veg? My mum and Dad have always been into growing veg and I always remember as a child helping my dad set the seeds, and then picking the veg once it was ready. Since having my own family I have always wanted to do this and 2 years ago we got an allotment so we could. The kids absolutely love going and setting seeds, digging and watering the plants and veg we are growing there., we even have a few fruit trees. So whether you’re into organics, vegetarianism, veganism or just getting healthier, upping your intake of vegetables is always a good idea. However, the price of healthy fruit and veg has tripled, while the price of junk food like ice cream has halved. On top of this, the announcement of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has also been forecasted to negatively affect supermarket prices.
Luckily, you can always grow your own which is a lot cheaper than buying from the supermarket. Although there are forecasted to be 2.6 million homes without gardens by 2020, there are still plenty of grow your own options regardless of the space you’ve got. Here are some of the best which we like to grow.
Easy to grow wherever you are, potatoes only require minimal space, but can get a little messy. You’ll need to chit them first and then plant them in spring (March-April.) They can be harvested from June all the way through to September and can be used in virtually any dish, we love them as mash, potato salad or even in a curry. They are so versatile that if I could only grow one thing it would be potatoes.
Another easily grown bit of greenery, tomatoes are actually fruits. Growing them is fairly simple; you just need to fill a small pot with compost, scatter the seeds on top and then allow them to germinate. After that, you’ll need to separate the seedlings into pots and allow them to grow, sowing between February-April and harvesting in July-October. They make a great addition to any dish. If you are thinking of growing your own tomatoes you best get setting the seeds now. I remember as a child my Dad used to grow tomatoes in our glass house. In the warm summer days they used to taste so good freshly picked from the heat of the glass house.
I find that carrots are another on that a lot of people really like and most people use a lot, from eating your own fresh grown carrots with a Sunday roast to having them in a lovely fresh salad on a sunny day in the garden. The need to be sew outside between March and July. They ideally need need to be sew in light fertile soil in a sunny position.
I love leeks however Doug isn’t that keen, so we only grow a few. You will need to sew Feb to April and can then harvest anytime between August to December. For me leeks make a roast dinner, there isn’t much else I use then for to be fair but they are a must for the roast.
As well as the cost savings, vegetables contain more nutritional value than almost any other food group. They’re low in fat and calories but full of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A and are a source of dietary fibre which is essential for a healthy gut.
Eating more vegetables can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. While studies are conflicting on whether vegetarians and vegans live a longer life than meat eaters, it is a fact that increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can help fight off diseases and increase your overall health.
So – get yourself to a garden centre and buy some seeds. It’s time to sew and grow.