Why Grow Your Own Vegetables

With summer drawing to an end, Martyn Loach wonders whether growing your own vegetables is worth the effort.

Created by Martyn Loach on Wednesday, 17th of September, 2014.
Updated on Tuesday, 1st of September, 2015.


After a summer of weeding, watering and wandering what this year’s crop will be like, the autumn bounty will be worth all the effort.

A harvest of broad beans, too many so lots will be frozen; beetroot to be pickled; raspberries to make jam if there’s any left after the children have had their share; and onions for curries right through the winter.

If anyone asks what’s the point in growing your own vegetables I don’t think any further explanation is required.

Doubters will undoubtedly point out that all this produce is available at a good price in the supermarket, or greengrocer if you are lucky enough to still have one.

To say they are missing the point would be kind. They are way off the mark and don’t realise that growing vegetables is all about seasonality, freshness and wanting to know where your food comes from. Even getting back to nature and feeling close to the earth if you’re in with Prince Charles.

Supermarket Choice

Supermarkets now fly in produce from all over the world. Just look at the labels and you’ll find Egyptian potatoes, Spanish tomatoes and butternut squash from South Africa. Leaving aside the resultant carbon footprint, taste and goodness disappear rapidly from foodstuffs the minute they are harvested.

Pull a carrot from the ground, wash the earth off it and bite the end. Savour the crunchy texture and superb taste, you will never again think about buying one of those limp efforts that have been on display for days in the supermarket.

Okay, you can’t grow everything in this country, I happen to like okra which I have never grown successfully so I have to purchase it. However, with a heated greenhouse you can have a good attempt at quite a few ‘exotic’ vegetables.

Also, don’t be fooled into thinking that the variety of vegetables available to you in supermarkets is anything more than basic. These outlets want to stock produce that has the longest shelf life not the best texture or taste.

Do you ever see anything much other than Maris Piper or those bags of ‘white potatoes’ of dubious origin? And those bland Spanish tomatoes, weren’t they picked while still green, immature and lacking in sweetness so that they could be flown hundreds of miles?

On an allotment, even on your back yard using grow bags, you can have a varied selection of vegetables that are grown for taste throughout the summer rather than for longevity.

Seasonal Is Best

Vegetables are also seasonal for a reason. Lettuce, cherry tomatoes and radishes are wonderful in salads, while sprouts, parsnips and cauliflowers, that are picked later in the year, are winter stew essentials.

And whatever you grow, you know where it’s come from. You know that it hasn’t been sprayed with insecticides or pesticides or picked by people earning little more than a pittance wage. You’ve tended and grown it yourself, from seed to maturity, and it will give you a great deal of satisfaction.

Growing your own vegetables isn’t just about saving money. It’s about being able to produce amazing tasting food that money simply can’t buy.

Related Articles

HTA Plant Show 2016

HTA Plant Show 2016

As GardenSIte's plant specialist I always keenly anticipate the HTA National Plant Show. This is my chance to visit nurseries, find out what's trending in the horticultural world and source new stock, all from under one roof.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Friday, 24th of June, 2016.

What To See At This Year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

What To See At This Year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place next month and Nathan James Dodd looks forward to what you'll discover at the largest annual show of its kind.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Monday, 20th of June, 2016.

How Thrive's Accessible Gardening Changes Lives

How Thrive's Accessible Gardening Changes Lives

The Society for Horticultural Therapy is an organisation generally known as Thrive, and David Coton recently learnt more about their projects, training and consultancy.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 16th of June, 2016.

New Report Wants NHS To Prescribe Gardening

New Report Wants NHS To Prescribe Gardening

Once again a report has been published linking the benefits of gardening with healthy minds and bodies. The King's Fund findings are outlined by Nathan James Dodd, and they include recommendations that gardening should be promoted as a way of improving health.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Monday, 30th of May, 2016.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

Martyn Loach

Editor in Chief

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Why Choose An Artificial Christmas Tree

Why Choose An Artificial Christmas Tree

When purchasing a Christmas tree, you may or may not be aware that you're continuing a centuries old tradition that was enthusiastically adopted by the Victorians. An artificial tree as Andy Taylor explains is just a modern take on this age old practice.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Monday, 5th of December, 2016.

Premier Christmas Lights

Premier Christmas Lights

There's a huge selection of Premier Christmas Lights, and it's no wonder why they are market leaders judging by the variety and innovation that's on offer. This is Andy Taylor's guide to their range of top quality lights and decorations.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Monday, 28th of November, 2016.

How to Choose Your Christmas Wreath & Garland

How to Choose Your Christmas Wreath & Garland

Christmas wreaths, swags and garlands might be thought a little old fashioned, but Robert Hall thinks that modern versions of these traditional decorations are a fabulous way to combine tradition with colourful contemporary themes.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Tuesday, 15th of November, 2016.

Battery Powered Christmas Lights Guide

Battery Powered Christmas Lights Guide

This guide by Andy Taylor is all about battery powered lights, a very safe way to decorate your home with festive colour. With low running costs and bright LEDs, batteries may be the smart choice this Christmas.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Thursday, 1st of December, 2016.