Can we talk about summer yet? Officially it IS spring but after the weather we have had over the past few weeks you might be forgiven for thinking you have missed it. Now the snow has gone for the majority of us though it is time to start thinking about what we want to do in the garden this year, and for a lot of us that is probably going to include growing vegetables and fruit.
I have been thinking for years that growing vegetables is something we should all do. It makes it easy to cut down on food miles, reduce the use of single use plastics, and being outside “with nature” has been proven to improve mental health. And of course at the end of it you get to eat something you have grown from a seed. I am not sure I can think of anything more satisfying.
More and more people are looking at become self sufficient, and a growing rise in veganism means this trend is not set to change any time soon. A recent article in Ideal Homes says:
Veganism is one of the fastest growing lifestyle movements with the number of Brits choosing a plant-based diet rising by more than 360 percent over the past decade. Coupled with rising food prices and a growing appreciation of organic produce, in 2018 the grow your own movement will really see a resurgence.
I talked awhile ago about becoming a reducitarian, explaining that I couldn’t go the whole hog (no pun intended) and become a vegetarian again but that when I could I would chose the vegetarian options in restaurants and embrace things such as Meat Free Monday, reducing my consumption of meat. Which means we are buying, and eating far more vegetables than ever before as I set about making cakes with beetroot, and burgers from beans.
Which is all well and good but what about the weather? Snow aside we don’t always have the warmest of springs and summers, so this is where getting a greenhouse makes sense:
If you’re serious about becoming more self-sufficient, a greenhouse can increase your yield of beautifully fresh fruit and veg all year round. If space isn’t on your side, legumes (runner beans, broad beans, French beans and peas), squashes and pumpkins are a great option as they make use of vertical space. Salad leaves, herbs and tomatoes grow well in boxes on balconies and patios and cost a fraction of the supermarket price too.
I have been thinking about how to grow fruit and vegetables on our patio for a while now, even going as far as creating a Pinterest board for ideas. Raised beds, pots, converted barrels, gardens on old step ladders, planters on walls, pot hangers on the fence, I have explored them all in an effort to be able to grow fruit and vegetables.
And whilst I have the ideas I am also aware that we don’t really have the space in our garden to build a greenhouse unless we lose part of our lawn, but what we do have is space at the back of our garage on a “dead wall” where we could build a lean to greenhouse, which is how I then ended up browing through GBC Group’s range of lean to greenhouses. The range is endless, and suits all sorts of budgets. They even have planter tables and cloches for those that want to get green with just a balcony.
This option would mean we wouldn’t lose any of the garden, and would have a great space for growing all we need. Plus it is right next to the water butt so we even have water to hand too.
Now if I can just get electricity out there for a kettle I can see me finding an excuse to be busy in the greenhouse all year round!