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

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