by Ross Road Ian

I have a pretty poor memory in general, but I still remember decimating my parents’ pea crop in the garden one year as a child.  I still vividly remember how good and different those homegrown peas tasted compared to ones bought from the shops, which is why I ate the whole crop! 

But until buying my own house, I’ve never really bothered much with gardening or growing my own food.

We bought our house on Ross Road in 2010, and I’ve often thought that we should grow some of our own food, but done nothing about it.  People start to grow food for all kinds of reasons – to be outside, to eat healthier food, for taste, to save money and for just for the sheer joy of watching something you planted grow and then having the added pleasure of eating it.

 For me, it was a growing concern for the wider environment and the threat of a lockdown on the horizon in the spring of 2020 that gave me the final nudge I needed to act.

Approaching one year on and I am so glad I finally acted upon my thoughts.  Being outside in the garden so regularly has been hugely pleasurable and rewarding.  Add to this the wow factor of seeing your plants grow from tiny seeds, and then the crescendo when the time comes to harvest and enjoy or preserve the fruits of your labour, and it has become a real hobby.  

I also really enjoy the learning and community involved.  Growing your own food is a real life skill that has become less prevalent in recent decades, but it feels like it is making something of a comeback, especially since the pandemic.

A small child planting seeds

 It’s also a great thing to get kids involved with, and I’ve been really pleased to see my kids embracing sowing seeds, watering, planting out or on, checking for pests, harvesting, cooking, preserving and even foraging and making our own compost.

 I have also got to know many of my immediate neighbours as well as others in the area, largely by joining a local food growing group. These groups are a hugely important resource for learning, support and resource sharing.

We are fortunate to have a good-sized garden, but anyone can grow some of their own food, even if it’s just one plant on a windowsill.  You can use pots to grow inside or outside.  If you want to grow more, but don’t have the space, you can look into getting an allotment, joining a community garden, or even offering to grow food in a neighbour’s, friend’s or relative’s garden if they have unutilized space .

So whether you’ve been thinking of growing some of your own food for a number of years, or barely given it a moment’s thought, do this – grow at least one thing this year, and consider joining a local food growing group! 

Keep your growing simple, and grow something you like and will use.

Don’t think about it, just do it!