Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The best Veg book i have read for a long time

Charles Dowding new book How to create a new Vegetable Garden is the best vegetable gardening book I have read for a long time. Published by Green Books

I have a book case full of vegetable growing books in my living room and this one is my new favourite's. Charles is the king of the No Dig garden he has mastered this method of gardening over a number of years in his garden in Somerset. He has written many gardening books over the years all about growing vegetables so who better to write a book about creating your own vegetable garden. This book covers how Charles has turned his new garden in to the highly productive garden that it is today all with out digging a bit of it. The book is a step by step guide to turn a lawn or a weedy patch in to a highly productive garden with out ever turning the soil over. This book is spit in to two parts the first part covers clearing the ground and preparing the soil. The second part is all about sowing and growing each part of the book is split up into smaller chapters such as Clearing ground, Hotbeds etc. This is a very personal book written about Charles own experiences about setting up his new garden. I would be surprised after reading this book if you where not inspired to get out there and start growing your own. If you only every had the choice to buy one vegetable gardening book then this would be the one I would recommend.

Available from all good book shops or direct from the publisher Green Books RRP £19.99

ISBN 978057842442

Sunday, 22 February 2015

I've just built a supermarket in my back garden

Its true I now only have to step out of my back door to get most of my weekly shopping whether it be fruit, veg, eggs it all now just a few steps away. But it is not your average supermarket there are no ready meals, so called special offers or rude check out staff who want you out of the shop as quickly as possible. The best point about the super market in my back garden is everything is free and my super market has not closed down all the small local independent shops in a 5 mile radius either. It's very green and has a virtually zero carbon foot print as all waste is composted or recycled.
Ok I am talking about my Vegetable garden but that is basically what it is and if we treated it like a supermarket we would realise that every day is a special offer.
But not only is your vegetable garden like a super market it is also like having a cash machine in your garden. Because growing your own food is like printing your own money as Ron Finley says Ron is a food growing activist from America. He started his campaign when Las Angeles council threatened him with legal action after he started growing food in front of his house on the grass verge in LA.
He has been encouraging people ever since to grow there own food in what ever space they can use whether it be a grass verge or a window box.
I would like to try and encourage as many (everyone) to grow at least some of the food they eat, I still don't know why fruit and vegetable growing is not compulsory to be taught in schools. In fact the government should have a national campaign to get everyone growing just like what happened during the war. The momentum for people to grow there own carried on way until the 60's until the modern supermarket was born. Since then as food has become on tap 24hrs a day 7 days a week and ready meals and processed food are taking up more of the shop than ingredients and fresh food. This is when the decline in people growing there own food started add in shrinking gardens on new build houses and councils selling off allotments. Only spelled disaster for anyone wanting to grow there own even if they wanted to they did not have a big enough garden to do so. So they turned even more to the super market for there food needs and before we knew it we have a generation that dose not know how to grow it's own food. We have recently had a resurgence in people wanting to grow there own mainly sparked off by the recession and several food scares but there is still a long way to go.  
But why don't the government encourage everyone to grow there own food my theory is that you can not Tax what is grown in your own back garden. But you can tax ready meals and processed food but what about everyone's health if the country eats a healthier diet of lots of highly nutrisus organic home grown produce the nation would be better off.  I'm sorry to say this but healthy people don't make money it's a bit like cigarettes the government know that they cause cancer and create a big bill for the NHS every year. But they also produce billions of pounds in tax and this out weighs what is spent making people well from the effects of cigarettes. So the government make a profit from peoples ill health it's a bit like you can not tax garden compost but you can tax a chemical fertilizer so the government never promotes organic growing as they don't make as much tax compared to conventional growing. So we all need to start a revolution and open a super market in our back garden, front gardens, balcony's and window boxes and start being responsible for the food we eat no matter how small the contribution you make. Every lettuce leaf we grow will help to a healthier life, a better environment, a better future for our children and break the chain of comersulatation of the food we need to survive.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

It's all getting a bit seedy

It's seed swaps I am talking about there are lots taking place this month up and down the country. The home of seed swaps is in Brighton over 14 years ago and has now grown into a massive event. Thousands of keen gardeners, growers, and food lovers come together to swap seeds share hints and tips and make new friends. This Saturday was the first one to take place in Northampton it was held in The Looking Glass Theatre in the centre of Northampton.
The event was run in conjunction with Fruitful Abundance which is a Northampton based group which was set up to prevent food waste, encourage more people to grow there own food and generally live a more healthier life style.
The event opened it's doors to the public at 11am there was a steady flow of public all day all where heading straight to the seed swap tables with hands full of there own seeds eager to swap. The way it works is you hand over the seeds you want to swap to one of the lady's they then put them in the different category's Cabbage, Beans etc. Then just help your self to the new seeds you want to grow this year and if you haven't any seeds to swap you just give a donation for what you take. 
There was lots of seeds available to swap thanks to the generosity of Thompson and Morgan, Suttons Seeds, Unwin's Seeds and Marshalls Seeds. Also some local growers donated lots of heritage variety's so there was a good choice of variety's on offer something for every one.
There was lots of talks taking place through out the day on seed saving, urban gardening, bees and eating weeds
Seedy Saturday also saw the first opening of Elsie's Café which is a pay as you feel Real Junk Food Café. There was lots of cakes, biscuits and light lunches all made from food that would have other wise ended up in land fill. So why feed the tip when you can feed belly's come the end of the day there was just a few crumbs left so the food must have been good.
It was a great day and I'm looking forward to next year's already.