Across the UK, more people than ever are growing their own food. In fact, it is estimated that nearly a third of us now grow our own vegetables, and that even more of us are considering doing so.
For many home growers, their inspiration has been fuelled by the realisation that modern food production – characterised by chemical treatments and global transportation – may not yield the healthiest of produce. For others, it’s the growing cost of buying our own foods from the supermarket.
An increasingly common by-product of this trend towards localised food supply, however, is that people are getting more adventurous in their decisions on what to grow this season. If you’re looking to get more courageous in your garden, read on for some inspiration.
Sprouts for Stimulation
As long as you’re prepared to wait long enough, EVERYTHING will one day come into fashion. Yes, that vegetable you were forced to eat under duress every Christmas as a kid is set to be huge in 2014.
Sprouts are one of the best sources for a variety of vital nutrients, which has led to them being described in many circles as a ‘living food.’ And, in an increasingly health obsessed world, sprouts are now being added to many of the salads supplied by leading chains, such as Waitrose and the trendy takeaway store Eat.
If you want to grow your own, sow your seeds in mid-March and plant out in mid-May to yield a crop of sprouts in October or November. If you want your sprouts ready for Christmas, sow your seeds in April and plant them out in June.
Taste the Exotic
After showing us how to grow our own drugs in an award-winning television series, James Wong has now set his sights on changing our perception on what foods can be grown in the UK. Through his book ‘Homegrown Revolution’ and personal blog, James is championing us all to be more adventurous when growing edibles.
From his series of suggestions, it is clear that James believes we should be growing foods for the amazing tastes we can experience. Inca Berries are a prime example of this, and the seeds for the plant that bare the fruit are best sown in March/April and then planted in the ground once the risk of frost has passed. Perhaps best of all, however, is that according to James Wong, Inca Berries are simpler to cultivate than tomatoes, so for all their exotic allure they’re easy peasy to grow.
Red Hot Chillies
In keeping with the idea of growing for a taste, home growers around the UK are increasingly waking up to the fact that it is more than possible to grow chillies in this country.
Chili seeds come in an almost exhaustible amount of varieties, with some amazing names such as Devil’s Tongue and Brain Strain. When it comes to growing them successfully, though, there are a number of basic principles you’ll need to remember. Chillies like sunshine, and the more they get, the hotter they will be to the taste. Do not water your chillies too much. And finally, only put your chilli plants outside during the warmer months (between frosts).
Helping you to grow your own
If the preceding suggestions are too fanciful for your tastes, onions, strawberries and even pumpkins present easy and traditional vegetables to grow in the UK. However, whatever you choose to grow, you’re going to need to create the ideal growing environment. To this end, Dunster House greenhouses, as well as planters and trugs make an ideal addition for those who desire a fertile garden.
If you’ve been inspired with the growing suggestions featured, please take the time to share this page on your favoured social network. Or, if you have any other suggestions, why not share them in the comments section below?