By Honey Morris
“TO PLANT A GARDEN IS TO BELIEVE IN TOMORROW” - Audrey Hepburn
I love my veggie patch and, I love the fact that maintaining it, i.e. planting, watering, weeding and harvesting, is something hubs and I can enjoy together. It’s such a satisfying experience and extremely therapeutic.
The consumption of vegetables is so important to our health and by growing your own vegetables you’ll be consuming the freshest produce possible, the vitamin content will be at its highest levels and, being organic, it will taste significantly more delicious.
I also love the fact that our veggie patch is enabling us to reduce our impact on the environment. The knowledge that the vegetables I grow haven’t been sprayed with an array of nasty cancer causing chemicals, such as pesticides, makes them so much more enjoyable.
If outside space is an issue, don’t immediately discount the idea of growing your own vegetables, grow bags, pots and window boxes are all worthwhile options to consider.
I would highly recommend seasonal planting and, if you do a little research and plan ahead, you’ll be able to ensure a continuous supply of home grown vegetables.
I would also highly recommend using heirloom seeds which, if you haven’t heard of them before, are open pollinated seeds, which means pollination occurs naturally and they regrow time and time again, always passing on the characteristics of the original parent plant.
The vegetables produced from heirloom seeds are a lot more flavoursome, nutritionally superior and often have a lengthier harvesting period.
There’s also the financial perk of not having to repurchase seeds as you can save seed and use it the following year.
TOP TIP: I love using all, or as much of, the vegetables I grow as possible. If there’s any leftovers once we’ve fed ourselves, and our rescued chooks, I freeze everything else and use it to make delicious batches of homemade veggie broth.
I’ve compiled this list of eight vegetables I find easy to grow and are great ones to start with if you’re new to gardening.
I love beetroot. There’s something about the deep red hue of this root vegetable and, I even love how it stains my fingers. It’s so versatile – you can eat it cooked or raw – and it has wonderful health benefits.
This popular root vegetable is easy to grow and, if you want to mix things up, try growing some purple carrots also. Both carrots and beetroot are great over winter crops as you can store them in a root cellar or other cool, dark spot and they’ll keep for a long time.
I love zucchini noodles so I’m glad this vegetable is easy to grow and, it comes with the added bonus of zucchini flowers which are delicious stuffed and/or cooked in a vegan tempura batter. Be warned, they take up a lot of space but the good news is that they don’t mind growing vertically, so that’s always a great option! Just be sure to keep peaking under their leaves on a daily basis as zucchini can grow quickly into marrows!
We harvested so many cucumbers, from just one cucumber plant, that even our rescued chooks got to enjoy the organic goodness. Great for salads and juicing!
Garlic is so low maintenance it’s practically no maintenance and, once it’s ready for harvesting, simply dry in the sunshine and store in your pantry.
I often prepare a side salad to accompany whatever we’re having for dinner and home grown lettuce is unbeatable. I’d recommend planting an assortment of different lettuce varieties so your salads will have an array of flavours and textures.
This leafy green vegetable, packed full of goodness, is one you can grow all year round. Great in stir-fries, salads and smoothies!
Personally, I love to grow cherry tomatoes but, most varieties are good growers. As and when planting, just be mindful of the fact that tomato plants are sun worshippers and, it’s the sun that ripens the fruit.
I really wish I had started my veggie patch sooner. I underestimated how much pleasure I would derive from maintaining it. I know this sounds a bit cliché but it’s not just about food for my body but also food for my soul. I love how it connects me with Mother Earth. So, what are you waiting for? Get planning and planting your veggie patch.
Have you got a veggie patch? What are your best growers?
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