I have quite a lot to say about my experiments with food and gardening of late but I’m a little concerned about scaring off the majority of you who’re here to read the geeky bits. As I don’t have the time to start and maintain a separate blog it’s a case of “tough titty”: you guys will have to pick the bits you want to read and ignore the rest. :)
With the rising cost of
food in the UK I’m trying to do as much as possible to cut down costs; cutting out 20 mile round trips to Tesco on a Saturday seemed like the best place to start. I ‘enrolled’ into a local vegetable box delivery scheme a few weeks ago. Surprisingly, even though the produce is all organic, it actually works out cheaper than equivalent produce from Tesco. When supplemented with meat from the local butchers, bread from the bakers and so on, we’re saving about £20 a week. I have even been bulk buying cat food from the Internet to save a few quid there.
Anyway, cost-cutting aside, the veggies are benefits I didn’t think of. Firstly, I’m eating 4-5 portions a day. I’ve started experimenting more with my food — until a few weeks ago I’d never even heard of kohlrabi — and my meals have become more than just meat and two veg day in day out. I have bought a vegetarian cookbook (purely for the huge variety of recipes, not because I’m planning on going vegetarian) and I no longer struggle for lunch ideas. The biggest shocker is that Karl — the man that lived off microchips for years before we got together — ate butternut squash. Anyone who’s ever heard me rant about his fish cakes will understand what a big deal that is.
Moving on from commercial veg… my own garden is flourishing. I have a courgette that has totally taken over a growbag, so much so that a squash sharing the bag had to be moved elsewhere. My tomatoes are doing much better outside (this is the part where Sarah says “I told you so”) although I don’t want to spoil another post I’ve got drafted up so I’ll shut up about them. A couple of my strawberries are turning red now; I’ve got runner beans growing up a trellis (lack of canes, although this was fixed this weekend courtesy of Karl’s mum); and my rhubarb (the one I thought I’d killed) has recovered and is getting bigger too.
My biggest problem is finding advice online aimed at those growing purely in pots. Nearly all the sites I read seem to think it’s common for people to have acres of land or something! As a rental tenant, and the owner of a back garden that’s mostly paving slab, I cannot plant in the ground. The likes of Pots of Fruit are few and far between.
Heyho, I plod along. I don’t know what surprises me more… the fact that I’ve managed to grow things, or that I’m actually enjoying something that doesn’t revolve around my computer.