National Allotment Week; 13-19 August
As we know August is holiday time and if you are not away this is the perfect time to try a fun and healthy activity that all the family can participate in. If you are stuck for ideas and can’t think what to make for the next meal, growing your own fruits and vegetables can add an interesting and exciting new dimension for all the family.
From simple sprouting to growing herbs on your window sill, to developing an allotment, there is something to suit everyone.
It is a wonderful opportunity to get your children involved where they start to understand where food comes from, enjoy some outdoor, physical activity, learn a sense of responsibility and even work as a team to create fruitful produce which all the family can then enjoy.
Sometimes there are copious quantities, so distributing fruits and vegetables to family and friends can be a lot of fun too.
As well as a real sense of satisfaction, growing your own has many advantages.
A more nutrient dense product.
Grow organically and therefore avoid consuming harmful chemicals.
Pick and eat the produce when sun ripened and ready meaning more powerful nutrients.
No storage time also equals a fresh vegetable or fruit with much better taste and quality.
Where do you start?
Firstly it is important to decide how much time you have available and then plan accordingly. Sprouting, for example, is an easy start and provides some really powerful nutrients. Did you know that the sprouting stage of any vegetable or legume that you grow carries the most potent nutrients of all of its life. So topping salads with with various sprouts such as broccoli, radish or pea, will turn them into superfood salads.
Here is a simple how to, to get you spouting your own seeds.
Do you remember growing cress in eggshells as a child? I think this is a classic childhood activity that everyone should try at least once in their life and it’s the ideal place to start if you want your kids to get involved in growing food. Cress grows really quickly so if you have younger children it’s a great way to show the process from seed to harvest without them losing interest before it’s done. Click here for a simple step by step how to.
Obviously this is a longer project which requires more commitment and attention but for the reasons given above, will provide a much better quality and nutrient dense vegetable or fruit, so well worth the effort. Find here the 20 best and most productive vegetables to grow in pots in your back garden.
For the benefit of those of you who don’t know this, an Allotment is a small piece of land, usually owned by the local Council, allocated (aka “allotted”) to a citizen for the purpose of cultivating fruit, vegetables and flowers. A small rental fee is charged.
Allotments can provide a wonderful full or part time hobby so this does require some dedication. As well as all the advantages we have mentioned above there is a very positive and fulfilling social aspect to this. You’ll often meet like minded people tending to their plot, exchanging ideas and learning from one another. Being outside and being physical both provides healthy advantages too.
Find great information on which fruit and vegetables are in season, what you should start growing now and the 10 easiest fruits and vegetables to grow!
Local allotment societies
Wellfield Lane Allotments – Altrincham
Dean Row Allotment Society – Wilmslow
Ordsall Community Allotment Society – Salford
UK Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables – August
Bilberries, Blueberries, Bramley Apples, Cherries, Gooseberries, Greengages, Loganberries, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrents, Strawberries,
Artichokes, Aubergines, Beetroot, Braodbeans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, French beans, Garlic, Jersey Royal Potatoes, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce (cos & iceberg), Marrow, New Potatoes, Onion, Pak Choi, Peas, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Sampire, Spinach, Spring Onion, Squash, Sweetcorn,Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress
When eating seasonal, locally grown foods, the most delicious ways to eat the produce can be to keep it as simple as possible. Try my simple and delicious recipes below;