Grow your own groceries

Story and photo by Aisha Special K

I’ve always wanted to do home farming and I believe that growing your own products is the way forward. I admire those people who have an allotment, but it’s not for me – I’ve never fancied travelling to check my vegetables.

I decided to go ahead, mainly through the need for a healthier lifestyle but also due to vegetables, herbs and especially fruit becoming so expensive to buy. The tricky part comes when you only have a confined space, a balcony, windowsill, small yard or garden. You have to be creative and realise that you can plant food in almost anything, such as a shopping basket, bucket, or vase. I’ve planted potatoes and onions in old hessian sacks from Royal Mail; they’re great for drainage and can hold layers of stock. A friend uses a pair of wellington boots with holes drilled into the bottom and sides for drainage.

Once you know where you are going to plant, it’s easy to get started. When eating fruit and vegetables save the seeds, if you purchase seeds they are only the ones you throw away, just not as fresh. Scrape the seeds off the skin before eating. Then clean them, and germinate by wrapping in a lightly watered kitchen towel. Put in a plastic food bag in a warm dark place such as your boiler cupboard. When potatoes have sprouted they are perfect for planting.

On the left of the picture is the bottom part of some celery that we usually throw away. It’s soaking in a cup of water to grow its roots before planting. On the right, is an avocado seed propped up with its root side down in the water. The celery is a much quicker grower than the avocado, but be patient and keep them topped up with water for successful results. 

Sowing seeds and watching them germinate and thrive into delicious produce is a great pleasure that can be shared with all the family. Keep up with ideas and inspiration by following the Facebook page – ‘Grow your own food with Special’