Saturday, 26 April 2008

Digging That Victory

Since I put up that post about suburban homesteading it seems that; either the great and the good of English journalism are reading my witterings or (more likely) I had my finger on the pulse of the weeks Zeitgeist. According to this weeks papers there are now as many people growing their own foodstuff as did during WW2!

If like me you've been thinking about getting started here's some food for thought.

If we were all to follow the advice of eating five portions of fruit and veg a day, we would probably spend at least £1 every day, or around £400 a year, at supermarket prices. But seeds for vegetables to keep a family going for a year usually cost less than you would pay for one kilo of the same product in a shop.

You can pay £1.29 for two beef tomatoes in Sainsbury's [This should be a joke surely - I checked it's true!]while a packet of 30 seeds from costs £1.25.

A Sainsbury's shopper buying a kilo each of courgettes (AKA Zucchini), beetroot and radish this autumn would have paid around £8 while packets of each of these seeds from costs a total of £3.75. And if you have neighbours with vegetable patches, you can always swap packets, as they always contain more seeds than you need.

If your aim is to save money, then you should grow more exotic produce

'Growing main crop potatoes is insane if you look at it economically,I don't think there is any more lucrative crop than hot peppers. Garlic is very expensive to buy. Rocket is quick and easy to grow but can be expensive to buy. Herbs are good. Rosemary and thyme - you can't have too much of those.'

Young apple, cherry and other fruit trees or berry plants can be bought for under £20 each, while organic raspberries, for example, cost more than £23 a kilo in Sainsbury's this year.

Richard Murphy has been growing vegetables for 18 years. This year, he has included pumpkin, salad crops, beetroot and carrots in his vegetable patch.

'For the price of one bag of salad you could grow 50,' he says. His main aims are eating well and introducing his two young sons to this part of the natural world. 'The skill level you need is pretty low. My six-year-old can quite happily plant seeds.'

All sourced from

Thanks for reading

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Staying Alive said...

Ahh, what a pleasant way to spend a morning, reading the Suburban Bushwacker. One of my favorite pursuits. From the statistics mentioned, I feel that Old Blighty is intending to eat this Summer from his own garden. Damn good! You don't get much better than you can grow yourself.

The Handmaiden is becoming proficient in foraging. I am eating all kinds of greens that I never had before. But I still think I like Nettles about the best. Not as good as Purslane for a salad or sandwich amendment, but maybe the best tea around. And Nettle's help other natural free foods like Dandelion root. Some ground Dandelion root with some Nettles added for fortification makes a drink you will really like.

So far the food shortages have not hit us except for Rice rationing on the West coast. The Doomers keep saying that it is going to get worse. I almost hope they are right. I have 68 kilos of rice and beans in one container alone! I have to eat all of that food SOMETIME!

I bought a new grain grinder. I'm kinda proud of that little purchase. Even if my beans do get hard as rocks I can grind them and make mush or pancakes or whatever. All I want is to be able to eat some protein in some acceptble form. I really like rice and beans. The Handmaiden makes them on a regular basis to feed my ravenous cravings.

Thank you very much for a good account of England's preparedness, at least as to food. Your food costs seem horrible. And your comparison with the price of seed was right on!

Stay Alive!

Michael said...

What I especially like about fruit trees is that once they are planted they can often be pretty much forgotten about. You can get a huge amount of apples, for example, from one tree on a good year.

Anonymous said...

I've been considering having a garden this year. There are community garden spaces around where I live, and since I'm working on eating healthier, growing my own vegetables makes sense.

I think more and more people will be doing this. The cost of veggies in the store is just going to keep rising.

Anonymous said...

i bought estelle a fruit tree.