Monday, 7 April 2014

From acorns.......

I have always wanted to grow things I can eat. Perhaps that is more of a reflection of my desire to constantly graze rather than eat well. As a child I grew a small apple tree that sadly died before it could bear fruit. In my late 20s I dabbled in growing herbs with little to no success. The romantic ideal of growing fruit and vegetables was somewhat overshadowed by my lack of knowledge and lack severe lack of space.

While visiting a recording studio in Amsterdam to finalise some mixes for a project I am involved in, the studio owner took us to his allotment on the edge of the city. Picking vegetables, eating food cooked from fresh ingredients, drinking copious amounts of whiskey while chatting about self sufficiency and the state of the supermarket culture; something really struck a chord with me. I lapped up all of the information I could get from someone who was actively doing this and returned home a new man. It truly was a life changing experience.

By recommendation of my new friend in Amsterdam, I bought The New Complete Book of Self Sufficiency by John Seymour. I had a wealth of information at my fingertips, but I really didn't know where to start. From what I could see, I had two major obstacles in my way: it was January (I assume nothing grows in January) and I live in a rental property where I can't dig up the lawn. Where and how was I going to grow anything of significance in my small garden space? And what would I need to buy in order to achieve my goals? Wait.... what are my goals?!

Lets start with what I like to eat:

- potato
- onion
- tomato (the wife hates these)
- carrot
- pepper
- courgette
- mushroom (the wife also hates these)
- all sorts of herbs
- strawberry
- spinach
- cabbage (the wife isn't too keen on these either)

Ok that's a start. At least I know what I would like to grow.

Skip forward a few weeks and I have bought various sizes of plant pots, propagators (not electric), a small polythene greenhouse, lots of all purpose compost and lots of seeds. I also bought a large plastic compost bin from the local council. I figured that instead of the council taking away my food waste, I would be better combining it with any garden waste I have and help feed the crops with homemade compost. We keep food waste to an absolute minimum as it is, but now I really feel that nothing is ever truly wasted.

Right now I have numerous herbs and vegetables in pots all over the place. I started this blog about six weeks after I started plating seeds, so there will be a gap in these early posts. Next I will post photos of where I am currently at in my attempt to become more self sufficient.

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