Eamonn Wall - Head of Horticulture
I remember starting out in horticulture many years ago, and the negative connotations associated in growing your fruit and vegetables. Lots of hard work and we just don’t have the time. During the Celtic years many people were time poor and cash rich and convenience was the buzz word. Now we are a generation of time rich and cash poor, hence the surge in ‘grow your own ‘. They say an ill wind brings good, well if that the case, perhaps a new generation will grow up knowing that carrots julienne originate from the ground and peas grow in pods. Many of our tinned fruit and vegetables are now preserved with sugar and salt, which are natural preservatives found in many foods. Excess salt and sugar in your diet are equally harmful as artificial preservatives.
Why home grown food is good for you. Fresh fruit and vegetables provide fibre, antioxidants and also vitamins and minerals, where many are lost in frozen and processed foods. When you grow your own fruit and vegetables you know that there will be no traces of pesticide residues. It’s a known fact that people who work in the garden are happier and are healthier because of the physical work out that growing your own gives.
Ireland has one of the most fertile soils in the word, a fat lot of good this is, if you don’t have the people or the knowledge to work it. It’s a case of literally we have to get back to our roots. You will be amazed at what you can grow from a packet of seed. The sheer joy and satisfaction in growing your own makes all effort worth while. Many people find growing your own daunting to say the least, which can be off putting for many new beginners. My advice is visit your local garden centres where they can offer you practical advice and recommend what to grow according to your gardening skills. Once you’ve tasted home grown produce you will embrace the phenomenon of grow your own.
When it comes to convenience, growing your own literally takes on a whole new meaning. What could be more convenient than been able to pop out into the garden and dig your own fresh potatoes, cut a head of cabbage, pull few carrots and top it all of with rhubarb crumble. With a little careful planning you can practically have something tasty and fresh available all-year round.