Growing your own
Making a sustainable Isle of Wight isn’t just about smart technologies and renewable energy. It’s about helping the community to be self sufficient, and giving them a better quality of life, too. One way to be more self sufficient is to produce your own food. We recognise that rearing and slaughtering your own meat may not be to everyone’s taste, and it requires a lot of land, so we have comprised some handy tips on ‘growing your own’ to help you on your way to self sufficiency in your own home!
Lots of satisfaction can come from growing your own food, and we want to give you tips that you can use in YOUR house, even if you don’t have a garden.
Tips for beginners
· Try buying already sprouted plants from garden shops – this gets the really hard bit out the way so all you need to give is TLC.
· Give products like ‘Allot in a box’ (Sold in the Garlic Farm shop) or the ‘Paper Potter’ (which is available on amazon) a go, they help to make growing lots easier and they’re a great way to recycle newspaper!
· www.landshare.net has loads of tips on growing and the best insect repellents (all organic, of course) as well as places to find or advertise land.
· The easiest things to grow are: salad, tomatoes, pea shoots, courgette, strawberries, beetroot, mint, onions, dwarf French beans and pumpkins.
· Try a herb garden before any veggies – you can buy plants from the supermarket, or nurse a seedling, but they are generally quite low maintenance and are great for windowsills or old sinks or pots in your garden!
Tips for people with no gardens
· Windowsills make the best place for a herb garden provided it gets lots of sunlight, try growing or buying a pot plant of your favourite herb
· Keep an eye out for allotments or garden shares in your area or visit www.landshare.net to find out if there are any shares in your area
Tips for people with gardens or patios
· Leave empty jugs or bottles out (helps with a weight in the bottom so they don’t blow over) to collect rainwater for watering plants – especially good for hosepipe bans!
· Check out www.eatseasonably.co.uk as it gives tips tailored to whether you are going indoors or outdoors
· If you have land you would like to share, visit www.landshare.net to advertise it – with over 5000 members, you’re likely to find a taker!
Cooking with your own produce
There is nothing more rewarding than eating a meal made from your own produce and tasting all the hard work that’s gone into it. Here are a few ideas for cooking with your own fruit and veggies:
· Ratatouille is a great way to celebrate lots of your home grown vegetables at once
· Vegetable Currys help spice things up a little bit
· Pies always need great veggies inside, so why not do a little experimenting
· Soups, of course, are always a great idea for winter warmers and it will always taste better with home grown ingredients
· Good old fashioned roast dinner wouldn’t be anything without roasted veg – home grown is the way to go!