Grow your own

Some foods will always taste best picked fresh on your own doorstep or windowsill. If you grow your own you can cut out food miles and recycle your own kitchen scraps by composting them as home-made fertiliser. It’s very green – and it’s an adventure that can take up as much of your life as you let it.

  • Focus on the kind of achingly fresh food that is high in vitamins and whose commercial equivalent would require extensive packaging, refrigeration and probably international air freight – and still not match what you could produce for yourself! Herbs, salads, tomatoes and soft fruit are delicious and rewarding ways to dabble in self-reliance.
  • The quickest return you’ll ever get is by sprouting seeds – alfalfa and mung beans are the best known kinds, but there are many more to try. Sprouts are very high in vitamins and enzymes – the kind of nutrients we most need from fresh food.
  • With care and attention the amount of food that can be grown in small areas is fantastic, even if you have no garden at all, or only a windowsill.
  • Garden Organic (the working name of the Henry Doubleday Research Association) is the first stop in the UK for tips on organic gardening. Try the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners for food growing generally, and the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens for information on how to start a community garden.
  • There’s more information in the Green Choices gardening section.
  • If you don’t aspire to the ‘Good Life’, don’t despair, your green lifestyle can be just as valid as anyone else’s. After all, all those commercial organic growers still need customers! – and your garden could be an unharvested wildlife haven instead.

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