Growing your own food has never been so popular. Cheaper, healthier and better for the environment, it’s easy to see why. If you’re looking for inspiration and encouragement, Instagram is now the place to go. With ¾ million posts (and rising) hashtagged #growyourownfood, it’s fast becoming a digital mecca for horticulturalists big and small.
Here are 10 of our favourite Instagram accounts showcasing the best in seasonable, sustainable homegrown veg.
Londoner Paula waited 12 years for her allotment but it was worth the wait: “It’s that little bit of inner peace, a magical moment on a rainy day, a natter with friends and a sense of achievement that makes my space my happy place.” Paula shares her growing adventures, like sowing ‘smiley face’ microgreens or finding out what the alien-looking markings on her kohlrabi are – they’re bits of corky material (suberin) left behind when a leaf drops off, she explains.
Yorkshireman James Lester is a dedicated allotmenteer. Follow James for witty commentary on his horticultural exploits – like growing parsnip people in a drainpipe or creating a sunken cold frame to speed up spring growth. Always looking on the bright side of growing – “When life gives you a broken spade, take an axe to it and make it into a new bulb planter!” – he’s a real green-fingered philosopher.
Hayley took on her plot as a novice grower at the tender age of 22. Three years on and she’s growing thirty varieties of fruit and veg on her East Sussex allotment. She shares pictures of her rescue hens, amusingly shaped veg and harvest successes via her instafeed. There are also plenty of tips to inspire and inform. Like storing excess parsnips and carrots in sand to keep them crisp and pickling late beetroot to give as Xmas presents.
Illustrator Zoe’s Instagram feed is a thing of veggie loveliness. She shares beautiful photos of her horticultural triumphs, delicious recipes – beetroot crisps, anyone? – and exquisite drawings from her allotment journal. Whether she’s wondering what to do with her lazy housewife beans or musing over her romanesco broccoli’s identity crisis, there’s always something going on in Zoe’s garden.
Actor and writer Milli Proust shares stories of organic, seasonal living from her pretty Sussex kitchen garden. There is lots to inspire. Discover the Peruvian ground apple (Yacón): “Texture of a water chestnut, mild and sweet taste like an earthy pear. A prebiotic, it benefits the bacteria in the gut that boosts the immune system.” Follow Milli and learn how to turn foraged walnuts into amaretti and chestnuts into chestnut and whiskey cake with salted caramel sauce.
Rachel’s love for growing started early on when she ate her very first pea straight from the pod. Follow her Instagram feed as she attempts to live the good life: “My aims are simple. Grow organically, as much food as I can. Eat seasonal. Renew and recycle.” Meet her wonderful battery hens, including the inimitable Debs pictured above. And feel energised and uplifted thanks to this sunny, happy allotmenteer.
“I‘m no expert but I love growing my own”, says C, the instagrammer behind Sowing at the Stoop. This mum of boys came to gardening later in life when searching for something that would be just for her. She was soon hooked. Follow her adventures in growing cucamelons and cuddling carrots or visit her potato jungle and veggie waiting room. We guarantee you’ll be hooked too.
For Linconshire veg-patch “newbie” Kirsty, growing her own was just what the doctor ordered: “There is something extremely therapeutic with gardening and growing your own… Whatever it is, its addictive and I’m totally smitten with it!” Share her joy as she grows her first ever beetroot or wins gold and silver at the local flower show. Find out why happiness is a perfect onion and try out her rhubarb-infused vodka with viola ice cubes.
Food writer, gardener and cook Mark Diacono loves growing unusual food on Otter Farm. If you want the lowdown on growing chocolate vines, pecans, or Japanese wineberries, Mark’s your man. One top tip: “As good an apple as there is, Veitches Perfection. A local variety, growing in the landscape it came from, and you can tell. Sharp/sweet, cooker/eater and BIG.” There’s some beautiful photography too. Check out his harvest of Nepalese peppercorns shining like red jewels against a white ceramic bowl.
Tom and Kathy espouse slow food and slow living on their smallholding in rural Somerset. Expect gorgeous shots of organic homegrown veg, foraged wild food and delicious seasonal recipes. There’s plenty to get the taste buds going, like their ornamental quince windfalls: “They have filled the kitchen with scents of sugar, citrus and pineapple,” or Centurion onion, leek and bay soup. With beautiful produce, fruitful foraging and happy livestock, their version of the good life look looks utterly sublime.