Day 13 of #GreenBookFairies and we are talking about saving money and plastic on fruit and vegetables – by growing your own!
The fruit and vegetables we buy online and from supermarkets has often travelled a long way – sometimes thousands of miles – and single use plastic is generally used to package them up ready for sale. The idea of seasonal eating has gone as we now can buy any fruit or vegetable we want, at any time of year – if we don’t mind how far it’s travelled to get there.
We covered a little of the ways to avoid plastic when buying groceries in an earlier post, but this is mainly about cutting out the middleman – and growing your own! Seeds are very cheap, and it’s no myth that your own fruit and veggies taste better than anything you can buy from a shop!
- Get some seeds from your local DIY or plant shop – or see if you can get free ones from local seed exchanges or Facebook groups
- Get yourself some compostable pots (OR use loo roll tubes!) for starting the seeds off. Not only is this better for the environment, but it makes potting up much easier, you just plant the whole thing directly into the bigger pot and compost
- Make sure to use “peat free” compost as mining for peat involves destroying unique habitats that have taken 12,000+ years to mature
- Not much room? Even a few small pots of herbs can help you cut down on plastic. Start with some easy ones like mint and oregano!
Eating seasonally has been proven to be healthier for your body – due to the variety of fibres and also cutting down the time from harvest to dinner!
Top tip! Check your local garden or plant centre to see if they have a donation area for used pots and grow bags – these are often left open for people to take what they need for free! It’s great to re-use rather than buy new.
“Growing up my Dad and other family members have always been keen gardeners and grew their own fruit and veg. 9 years ago I started my own and there is nothing better than picking what you’ve grown to make a tasty meal. My own 2 mini fairies now love getting involved and helping too! The best thing is if we have too much we can share with family or freeze for a later date so there is very little wastage.”Louise, Scotland
“My parents always had a veg patch and I’ve always wanted one, but have always killed all my plants. I started too big my first year and ordered an entire organic veg plot (which the sheep got in and ate). So I scaled it back and over the last few years built up the garden slowly and took time to learn about each plant. Now we focus on growing what we know we’ll eat and can grow in the often harsh conditions where we live. At the moment we have tomatoes, berries, herbs, apples, pears, cherries and more. Growing our food means that our son understands the energy involved and can appreciate where food is from. Also it tastes better and it’s always good mentally and physically to be outside.”Verity, Wales
“My family has always had a big garden with fruits and vegetables (like apples, pears, peaches, courgette, potatoes tomatoes, beans, peas, lettuce, carrots…) growing year round. And I can’t imagine not having my own fresh produce. It’s amazing going in the garden and coming back with the freshest dinner.”Nastja, Slovenia
“In addition to saving money and being sure to eat vegetables without pesticides, cultivating your garden, taking care of your vegetables and watching them grow is something very peaceful. Sharing this activity with a child, in addition to being a wonderful moment of exchange, allows them to learn a lot about the life cycle of plants, the seasons and to teach them patience!“Marjorie, France
“We started growing some of our own fruit and veg as a bit of fun when the kids were little and 15 or so years later we’re still at it! We don’t have a big garden at all but just use whatever space we can find with containers and pots. It needn’t be expensive either. All our pots and planters were given to us/rescued from other gardens so whilst plastic they were saved from landfill and are still in use. We have even got some old council provided recycling tubs which the council stopped using for kerbside collections. So with a few holes for drainage, we planted them up with potatoes and carrots! I still enjoy it – there’s nothing better than a pot of bone made soup from your own home grown vegetables.”Shona, Scotland