Home-Grown Food

Why you should join the home-grown revolution  

A picture to show nearly ripe home-grown strawberries

Some home-grown strawberries ripening under the sun 

Growing your own vegetables and herbs has never been cooler.

Celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Sienna Miller and even American chat show queen, Oprah Winfrey are all at it.

And an increasing number of us are following suit and deciding to get dirty and start digging.

A staggering quarter of British adults now grow their own fruit and vegetables.

A recent Which? report revealed that the ‘green finger’ growth was largely due to people trying to save money while a third said they were growing veg for themselves in a bid to lead healthier life styles.

So what’s The Good Life attraction?

Well for a start there is the smug factor when you serve up a colourful salad that started out as tiny seeds in your garden.

Then there is the fact that you know exactly what pesticides they have been spray with. (Hopefully none)!

And for those of you with young children, there are many lessons to be learnt in the veggie patch – aside from trying to eat earth and worms.

And another reason to get digging is how it makes you feel.

Those with green fingers have long known that gardening is good for you, physically and mentally.

But now it has been proven scientifically. Researchers have found that digging the earth and pulling up weeds can lower blood pressure, increase brain activity and produce a general upbeat feeling.

Even just looking at vegetables and plants growing in your garden can give you a positive boost.

So for those of you who are not sure how to get growing – here are a few ideas.

If it’s fresh fruit and veg you’re after – totally hassle free – look no further than the East Lothian gem of the Walled Garden in Archerfield.

(see www.archerfieldwalledgarden.com)

The Deli has become mecca for foodies far and wide who enjoy its mantra of ‘Seasonality and Locality.’

There is a huge range of fresh produce on sale, including a selection of herbs picked to order from its extensive garden.

For those wanting to grab a bite to eat the menu has mouth watering dishes which include garden crudités, falafel, pitta bread, olives, humus and blushed tomato dip.

Work at the Walled Garden is currently being carried out to restore the raised beds first planted over 100 years ago.

To find out more have a look at a blog by the head gardener Erica Randall – just click on blog.

For those wanting to get down with the dirt but are short on space, a window box is the perfect place to plant some herbs.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has some top tips when it comes to starting your own window box here.

www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/the-ultimate-guide-to-growing-herbs

If you have a garden, why not turn one of the borders into raised beds to grow your favourite fruit and veg.

Gardening expert Charlie Dimmock shows you how to build your own on this YouTube clip.

For others with grander plans, how about trying to book a plot at your local allotment.

There really is no excuse not to join the green-finger revolution, so go on, get healthy and start growing.

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