zFiller Environment

Cut out the middle men

All Areas > Environment > Save the Planet

Author: Lily Curle, Posted: Wednesday, 24th October 2018, 09:00

You’ll have heard plenty of times that buying locally sourced and produced food is far better for our environment, as it reduces the need to transport the food from farms, to factories, to supermarkets, and then home. However, an even better option is to cut out the middle men and try growing some food yourself! Not only does it mean there is barely any travel involved, it also means you don’t have to use any nasty pesticides that inevitably drain into our soil and our rivers.

What if I’m a beginner?

Just remember, everyone starts somewhere! If the idea of starting an allotment or even a garden patch is too daunting, instead try something like a herb garden, where you could grow basil, rosemary or even chillies. Herbs are some of the most unnecessary things to buy already cut in plastic bags, which also contributes to plastic waste.

Why not try starting with some of the living herb pots. Many people think that herbs taste much better when they’re fresh, and it means that you’ll never be out of basil for your next spaghetti bolognese. Try putting them in a nice pot on your windowsill where they’ll get lots of sunshine, and remember to water them regularly.

If you’re a beginner but want to try something more challenging, consider carrots or potatoes. Carrots are largely self-sufficient, but the challenge is that you usually cannot see what is wrong without digging them up. They grow best in cooler weather, so are perfect for early spring. However, be aware that your soil should be loose enough to allow them to grow downwards without splitting, and try to be patient with them, as they can take time to fully mature (unless you choose a fast-maturing type).

Potatoes, on the other hand, require a lot of sun to mature, but also a lot of rain – approximately an inch a week, so make sure to give them a helping hand from your water butt if this is not achieved with just rain water. When planting, try to avoid it being too cold or too wet, otherwise they are unlikely to grow.

How about a challenge?

If you want a vegetable to show off, consider trying to grow a cauliflower. They are extremely picky about the weather, meaning that you have to start them when it’s not too cold but harvest them before summer gets too hot – something which isn’t aided by their long growing season. Alternatively, try a pumpkin that you can show off around Halloween. Plant them around mid-June and create an environment which is not too cold, is in a sunny position and has water-retaining soil to help plump them up to be carved.

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