Living off our green land however has always appealed to me! Raised on small holding in the rolling countryside of Mid Wales gave me first hand experience of self-sufficiency from an early age.
That and a struggle to survive the Milk Quota! Having to watch as hundreds of litres of milk is washed down the drain, such a waste and to think this quota was in-force 30 years, until April 2015.
Fortunately freshly picked fruit and veg, milk and dairy produce plus hand reared meats and poultry seasonally featured in our homely kitchen. The larder would be packed full of homemade cheese, pickles and jams the freezer stocked up with cured meats for all tastes even though the depths of winter.
Good job really as our parents favoured remote location regularly became isolated during heavy snowstorms that would block the country lanes often cutting us off from the outside world for weeks at a time! Our very own Family Robinson, cut off from society but thanks to the resourcefulness of my family we never wanted for anything and always had a plentiful supply of fresh and frozen greens, beans and foraged fruit and berries.
My first memory of growing our own produce is one of those childhood memories you can never forget, hours, days, weeks spent hand picking black currants during a bumper harvest. Tirelessly topping and tailing what felt like millions of sour, ripe black currants that left a permanent black stain on our fingers and a sharp tingle on the tongue.
Then there was the endless rows of Spinach that needed, weeding, picking, washing in preparation for eating raw or steaming into a slimy sludge like mess. You probably guess I hated Spinach as a child and like any youngster growing up resented being told to “eat your greens, they will make you big and strong”!
Nowadays I am managing a large private estate that is growing, harvesting and preserving on a much larger scale and get great pleasure from providing healthy, nutritious fruit and vegetables for the family members and their friends.
When it comes to growing produce for your family or your friends you can gain a hearty satisfaction from the knowledge that your vegetables, fruit and berries are grown free from preservatives, unnecessary chemicals and costly packaging that ends up polluting our eco-system.
There are numerous ways in which you can introduce more fresh Spinach, Kale, Salsola, Samphire, as leafy vegetables for your kitchen. Then there’s the trend for sprouted seeds, there will always be room for fresh herbs as well as many other home grown or foraged fruit and vegetables for your family.
Along with the health benefits you will also have clarity in regard to their environmental footprint, place of origin and that they have been grown using horticulturally sound techniques.
“What you waiting for time to start gardening and growing your own!”