It’s highlighted in the news at the moment regarding the shortage of fruit and vegetables from growing countries due to extreme weather conditions, particularly Spain and Italy. Here in Britain it is especially noticeable as we import an estimated 50% of vegetables and 90% of fruit. The harvest of Courgettes, Aubergines, Tomatoes, Broccoli and Peppers from Spain are down by 25%. Mercia in Spain where most of the lettuce production is from was the worst hit area, suffering the largest snowfall in decades, so now there’s a shortage of lettuce too!
And with shortages the inevitable happens – price increases which supermarkets pass on to their customer and that’s if the shelves aren’t empty! But what else can we do, when we rely on supermarkets but pay the price!
So this poses us to ask the questions “is this just the tip of the iceberg?” (Pardon the pun!). Should we be worried about any future impacts on us from our imported foods? Are we left with no other choice but to pay inflated prices? Or should we seriously think about becoming self-sufficient?
Reasons you should ‘Grow your own’
- No air miles, transportation or sitting on a shelf, so it’s fresher. Containing higher vitamins, minerals and nutritional value than shop bought.
- You know how it’s grown and exactly what’s gone into it – no chemicals or pesticides
- You have more choice – garden centres and seed catalogues offer so much more variety than is found in your local shops. It may even help you get more creative in the kitchen!
- Children will especially find it interesting and learn more by seeing the plants growth cycle as it begins. You never know, you may get them to eat more fruit and vegetables if they have helped to grow them.
- It’s good for the environment – reducing the amount of transportation pollution; also growing food without pesticides cuts down on air and water pollution.
- Reduces food waste – you will only pick what and when you want to use it.
- Knowing you can rely on your own resources to feed your family.
Growing your own vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers is fun and not as hard as it seems and you don’t have to have a ‘green thumb’. You don’t even have to have a garden! At first, it may seem like a long process but it’s simpler than you think and it’s definitely worth the effort. Planting a seed, watching it grow then the satisfaction you get when you harvest, it’s just so rewarding and exciting! Trust us, once you start growing your own, you will not want to stop! And remember that while your plants are growing – you are too!