Growing your own vegetables makes perfect sense as a vegan. Imagine going into the garden, and picking your own vegetables just in time for dinner eating them at their freshest, how scrumptious they must taste. And this is just what Sasha is doing, even though it is reasonably near an A road! Below is a picture of the two raised vegetable beds in her garden.
Even having investigated meat substitutes and textured alternatives which broaden the choice of vegan food available (and also means you can cook for non vegans more easily) enthusiasm for simple vegetables has still grown especially after dabbling in raw food. So growing them was a natural step. If sucessful then visits to the supermarket can be reduced and there may well be enough produce to supply friends and family.
In terms of fashion growing your own veggies is the new black. Young, old, square or round we are all at it. Which is a good thing with the depleting supplies of fossil fuels, we may all have to return to this way of living. These days outside space is not as much of an issue, as you might think, you can grow in pots, or on window sills as well as gardens.
In towns there is a growing revolution. No longer is it necessary to move to the countryside to produce your own vegetables. Transition Towns are communities of people that are working together to turn wasteland and spare space into allotments, there might well be a Transition Town near you. And if you don’t have a garden maybe someone nearby will let you use theirs. Landshare is an initiative supported by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in his River Cottage series linking growers with landowners. Register at Landshare.
So you have decided to grow some vegetables, before rushing out to buy seeds, a good book to read first is The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C Smith (find it here under [intlink id="2047" type="post"][Growing Veggies[/intlink]). It is a simple, straight forward, well written book in three parts all of which give you a good basis to start on. It is important to plan how your garden will grow. Things to consider are sunlight, (some vegetables need more than others) and also which vegetables grow well together. If you want to get really technical you can test your soil and by establishing the content you can grow what suits your soil best.
You can buy seeds and suitable equipment from your local DIY shop or nursery. The Organic Gardening Catalogue also has loads of good stuff in it. Some gardening magazines also have seed offers. There is no point saving money from not buying vegetables at the supermarket but wasting it on unused seeds in your cupboards.
Sasha’s first month of growing her own has been pretty damn good. Avidly watching the seeds germinate, it has been fascinating and rewarding to watch a seed planted grow into a small plant. It is important to keep them well watered and a little daily chitter chatter with them doesn’t seem to go a miss either! Easy things to grow are runner beans, sunflowers, sweetcorn, herbs and courgette plants. The first batch of tomatoes died which was disappointing, fortunately it is still April so there is just enough time to plant more.
Also because of the non stop vegetable chatter Sasha discovered that several colleagues and neighbours were also growing their own. Much sharing of growing tips has enused, swapping of seeds and even plants. Honestly, everyone is doing it!
There are seeds to sow all through the year so there’s no excuse not to start…go on, have a go and send in some tips! To keep up with Sasha’s progress follow her [intlink id="126" type="category"]blog[/intlink].