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We grow what we like to eat
Meet our Grower of the Month for May 2021, Jenny, @life_on_the_lot. In this blog post, she talks about how she started gardening to grow their own food and be more sustainable. Read on to find out more about her gardening journey.
How and when did you start gardening/growing?
I started casually growing around two years ago with a small herb garden and some tomatoes and peppers in our garden. As a family we started to question where our food was coming from and how we could be more sustainable. We also wanted to teach our rapidly growing little girl (4 years) to have a love for food and respect that things are not grown in a supermarket! This naturally led to us applying for an allotment, which we got the keys to the week before lockdown. We literally couldn’t have planned it better! And the rest is history…
How has your garden changed since you first started growing?
Rather naively, when I first started growing it was ALL about the veg. But the more I have learnt, the more I have a new found appreciation of flowers and pollinators and how these are all connected. So this year way more space has been made for flowers on the plot!
What do you grow? Do you have a favourite plant/vegetable/crop, and why?
We grow what we like to eat! It’s important, especially if you are limited on space, to grow things you will make use of.
My favourite thing to grow is tomatoes, I just adore them! The smell, the taste, the varieties…. I could go on forever! Plus we eat LOADS of them!
What is your typical day like, when it comes to tending to your garden?
During the week, I manage to fit in some small jobs around work, opening the greenhouse first thing and watering on the plot after school.
Getting our daughter involved in the jobs has been a winner, she loves using the watering cans and hose pipe! Although, turn your back for a minute and she will fill up her own shoes….
What do you enjoy most about growing/gardening
I’m definitely a nurturer, I like to look after things and watch them grow. But I also like plants with a reward so veg is definitely right up my street!
What tips would you offer to other gardeners/growers?
If you are new to an allotment you have to remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint. We set our first year goals as infrastructure, and anything we took home from growing was a total bonus!
Also, don’t be afraid to take on the lot covered in weeds! Learning what these are is a vital part in gardening and you will appreciate the end result so much more.
What are some of the benefits of growing your own?
The uber-smug feeling of walking home with my trug of goodies!
What are some of the benefits of using coir-based products?
I like that coir is a more sustainable product which is a really nice medium to work with, especially as a collective we move away from using peat based products.
What are your future plans for your garden?
We have recently built our own polyhouse, so we can’t wait to see its results this year and to decide if we build a second. Our aims are to have a productive plot all year round!