A first blog for Thompson & Morgan
We’ve been witnessing a bit of a quiet revolution in recent times, with more and more of us turning away from mass-produced convenience foods towards a more organic, back to nature approach, including the food we order out. It’s reached such levels that apparently some folks are even blaming Millennials for their lack of savings on an over-fondness for artisan brunches of avocado toast (no, really). I personally love an avocado, so I’m not judging.
Yet despite this, research suggests that children in the UK are disconnected from the environment, and the food on their plates…cue much hand-wringing and rose-tinted nostalgia for the olden days.
Well I say let’s not blame anyone young or old for not knowing the provenance of their food, or even when it is meant to be ‘in season’. Lots of us live urban, busy lives with little access to an outdoors space for growing things after all.
I don’t mind admitting that growing up in 1980’s suburban Birmingham, I had no idea food even had a ‘season’; it just came from the supermarket, right? At school, Harvest Festival hampers wouldn’t be groaning with fresh produce, but rather clanking with tinned peas and pineapple. Canned macaroni cheese, anyone?
Nobody likes a moaner though, do they? So what can we do about it?
Get Digging – grab the kids and get outside this summer.
Got a tiny space or just pushed for time?
- Containers are your friend. Window or balcony boxes can be filled with herbs, salad veg, or even things like kale and dwarf beans. Chuck in some seeds and eat your own produce just several weeks later. That’s practically instant gratification.
- Oh, if the packet tells you to thin out, it’s best off doing so. Look at this from my own garden. Tiny, crowded, unhappy beetroot (still eating it though)
Got a slightly bigger space?
- Planting a fruit tree is such a good thing. The Victoria plum in the back garden, after several years of sluggish output, has this year excelled itself. So much so, we’re making a homemade crumble with it this weekend. What’s not to love?
Before, I’d always associated plums with being a purely autumnal fruit but it turns out they belong in summer too. That delights me, and brings us neatly back to the theme of this blog, namely learning to reconnect with our food and understand its space in the growing year.
In these blogs I’ll be writing about what’s going on in the garden, what’s doing well and what really isn’t. As an enthusiastic novice with a standard new-build sized garden, I like to pick up tips from been-there-done-that family members, oh and the internet of course (don’t we all?) Hoping you can join me along the way.
I’m interested, though. Do you grow your own, and if so what? Comment here and share it with the group. See you next time!
I’ve lived in various places from freezing flats in Manchester with just enough room to swing a pot rubber plant, to a Leicester semi which must have held some kind of local record for most concrete used in the garden. That took some digging out.
Now living in Market Harborough with husband Matt and two young daughters. And a cat who shows up for mealtimes.
Gardening neophyte, learning always.
Hello! Love your blog, looking forward to tips!
we have started growing all sorts of veg in the last few years (some not very successfully) Our strawberries are the most fruitful, mainly because one of our children loves harvesting them with her friend and making jam so they get properly looked after. Our favourite this year was a mini cucumber plant though. Our other child doesn’t eat fruit so this was his little project. And we pick apples by sending them up the tree with a fishing net!
Love the idea of a sweet jammy reward, and fishing nets up trees is definitely worth a photo 🙂
Mini cucumbers eh? Sounds good. Is that outside? One for us to try next year perhaps.
Love your first blog Alison! Congratulations! William has his own little patch for growing veg – at least I think there’s veg there, somewhere amongst the weeds! I look forward to reading your blogs and getting some useful tips because there’s nothing more satisfying than eating something you’ve grown yourself.
Thanks Emma, and I look forward to hearing William’s top tips as well
I am loving this blog. I am pleased to find out the reason for my minuscule beetroot (and carrots too?).
Another way to get children involved- blackberry picking. Thanks to unpaid child labour I have seven crumbles worth currently heading for the freezer. I just need to scale this up in the next few weeks to be self sufficient.
I look forward to the next blog.
Thanks ‘Oadby Novice’. We have carrots in a similar poor state of repair so I am definitely blaming lack of thinning out. I might just do it now and see if they are salvageable.
Otherwise let’s agree to call them organically grown, low carbon footprint micro-ingredients and watch as the orders from top restaurants roll in. Or just, you know, put them in a soup and pretend it never happened 🙂
Blackberry picking – great idea!
Great first blog. I have to agree with you eating food in season is so much tastier, and also I believe more beneficial for the body too.
Any easy thing to grow in a large container, or ground, is rhubarb. I was seriously shocked at the price supermarkets are charging for it! As long as you don’t harvest it the first year, only take a third of it for the following two years, a then mature plant will crop for a surprisingly long time. We have been harvesting ours from May and still getting more.
Generally, I only pick enough rhubarb for what I need at any one time, always pull it, never cut it.
Raspberries are super easy. With the strange seasons we are having Autumn cropping ones seem to do better here in Pembokeshire. Once they have finished fruiting m cut down to ground level any time after the first frosts and March the following year.
Looking forward to your next blog.
Hi Amanda, thanks so much for reading my blog. Glad you liked it. And thanks for your tips too. I will definitely note the one about rhubarb pulling (not a sentence I thought I’d ever write, but we’re all friends here). And yes, raspberries a firm favourite here. Yum.
What sort of thing do you like reading about Amanda, gardening-wise (or anyone else who happens to have stumbled on this page)? I might see about writing about that, if it’s anything I know about (or not know about but do anyway). Possibly…