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Why I decided to grow vegetables for myself


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Rob12
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:30 pm    Post subject: Why I decided to grow vegetables for myself Reply with quote

Hey all,

Despite the fact that I am relatively new on the forum, I wanted to share something. While I am rather lazy at heart, I have decided to start growing my own vegetables. Not because I am utterly in love with the concept of doing more work (please, I keep busy enough at the office) but because it helped me in a number of different reasons. I wanted to share this with you and get your own thoughts about what made you start.

It helped my health
One of the primary reasons I started growing my own vegetables was because I would actually eat the vegetables that I am growing. Most of us understand that you need to eat more veggies throughout the day, but if I do not have any vegetables in my home I have to admit that (shamefully) I am not going to go out looking for them at the supermarket every day. I have found that ever since I increased my intake of vegetables dramatically, I feel much better and I have more energy.

It reduces my environmental impact
Do not get me wrong, I still have a car and I cannot say that I have ever looked at what my carbon footprint really is. Nevertheless, growing food in my (modest) garden without pesticides and herbicides does make me feel like I am taking small steps. I am not adding to the unnecessary air or water pollution. Even though I realize I am only one person, it still makes me feel good.

The food tastes better
This is the part that really struck me the first time I noticed it the food actually tastes better when I grow it. Maybe it is partly a placebo effect, but I have noticed that I am enjoying vegetables that I would previously only eat because they were healthy.

Those were my reasons for actually growing my own vegetables. Do you have any reasons that you could share that inspired you to get started?

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:29 am    Post subject: Re: Why I decided to grow vegetables for myself Reply with quote

It helped my health, tick that box. I needed to get out and do something mildly physical after a health scare and golf is not enough to do that.

It reduces my environmental impact, not so much a concern, even though it should be. Control over which pesticides and herbicides are used was an attraction alright. Supermarket/mass produced foods are uniformally perfect and equal in quality and appearance - so what if everything I grow is odd shaped, not straight and varies in colour - that is part of the attraction.

The food tastes better, tick that box too. Have to agree with that one.

Additional reasons of my own, well growing my own was a long held dream that I just couldn't do until recently. It was something that I always wanted to do and a hobby that I wanted to take up. I needed an activity to tone me up a bit after years of running around sports pitches and then there was nothing to fill that void. I lived in London for years with a small enough back garden and the children needed that and the waiting list for a council allotment was huge and I never got near the top of that list. Then we moved back here to a small estate in a village and again the garden was too small and the children needed it plus during all that time I was too busy at work to give a veg. garden the time it probably deserved. That is not a problem now as the work comes in but it is not regular and I can largely do it when it suits me and I don't have the same financial commitments anymore thankfully. Also, I love making the infrastructure parts of the garden as I enjoy making things, e.g. compost bins, cold frames, seating/tables, putting the greenhouse together, tunnels for drills and a polytunnel, wooden protection box around the strawberries, frames for beans and peas, storage boxes etc. etc. I have gathered up a huge quantity of unwanted/discarded building materials over the years from building sites (wood of all shapes and sizes, piping, ducting, plastic containers, insulation, conduits, glass, fixings, metal sheeting, scaffold netting etc.). The challenge for me is finding something discarded and apart from using it for what it was obviously meant to be used for is to find another use for it by thinking laterally.

Finally it just gets me outdoors and has given me a new direction and met a few new people who are also growing their own in the neighbourhood. We call to each other and swap seeds and plants, help each other out and exchange ideas and knowledge. I enjoy my trips down to the local garden center, they are a friendly bunch in there and the advice is freeflowing and no charge! I have even just gone down to have a chat with the owner and bought nothing but he knows I will be back. So this hobby has brought me closer to my neighbours which is not a bad thing. And of course there is yourselves, my virtual friends, I really do enjoy the banter on this forum and the information gleaned has been a great help in getting me started on this new hobby of mine. The one thing that I cannot fathom though is the number of views compared to the number of comments, awful lot of lurkers and voyeurs out there.

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Last edited by tagwex on Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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tippben
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition, for me is cost. Homegrown veg is usually way cheaper than anything you can buy. As I don't have much space, I only grow a few new potatoes in bags. Pink Fir Apple is the favourite. I don't bother with any others because they are so cheap. However, I always grow courgettes, mange tout, sugar snaps, fresh herbs, salads, and other things that are easy to grow, but expensive in the shops.
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The financial savings is a bone of contention. I'm not going to stir it up here. But I will say that I think the cost matter varies a lot, depending on the time of year, the vegetable and the variety, and a host of other matters.
When you look back to December and supermarkets were selling 1kg of carrots for 5c. At those prices you wouldn't get a standard packet of carrot seed.
Then, coriander is a very expensive herb to buy at all times.
It's unfortunate that come September, when many home growers are having a glut, the price in grocers and markets for many fruit and vegetables plummet.
I read an article last year buy someone dedicated to growing their own vegetables to save money. Their biggest saver by far was "salad leaves". However, they were eating this on a daily basis. Personally, in the depths of an Irish winter, I've no interest in eating salad leaves. Give me something hearty.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Potatoes wrote:
I read an article last year buy someone dedicated to growing their own vegetables to save money. Their biggest saver by far was "salad leaves". However, they were eating this on a daily basis. Personally, in the depths of an Irish winter, I've no interest in eating salad leaves. Give me something hearty.


Yes I remember, that was in a thread that I started called 'Maximising profit and returns'. You read it in a newsletter from seed savers.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the one!
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Slave77
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Why I decided to grow vegetables for myself Reply with quote

It helped my health[/u], absolutely, I find the winter months hard and spring arriving is like coming out of hibernation! The daylight, fresh air and nice wind burned complexion to get rid of the grey winter pallour.... Can't beat it!

It reduces my environmental impact, this would not be my main concern... Shame on me, but having kids it is nice to try set a good example and help their future, less packaging/travel for veg that I would buy in shop compared to home grown, less waste with composting, more beneficial to my own garden, less fuel travelling to buy/veg/compost etc it all adds up in the end I guess

The food tastes better, and oh so much better, and when your toddler eats home grown with gusto when she would have thrown shop bought over the edge of high chair, that speaks volumes. And my 12 yr old will have half his plate veg (not including potatoes) and loves it.

The difference knowing where the veg came from having control over how it's grown and the satisfaction of a great achievement, giving kids a great foundation in life, they watch seed germinate and grow into what they eat, an education in itself.


Last edited by Slave77 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't write that!!!!
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Slave77
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah shoot, tagwex I was trying to save time and thought I was copying the orig post, damn the iPad, give me a good old qwerty keyboard any day.....!, Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed
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Slave77
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:55 pm Post subject: Re: Why I decided to grow vegetables for myself
It helped my health, absolutely, I find the winter months hard and spring arriving is like coming out of hibernation! The daylight, fresh air and nice wind burned complexion to get rid of the grey winter pallour.... Can't beat it!

It reduces my environmental impact, this would not be my main concern... Shame on me, but having kids it is nice to try set a good example and help their future, less packaging/travel for veg that I would buy in shop compared to home grown, less waste with composting, more beneficial to my own garden, less fuel travelling to buy/veg/compost etc it all adds up in the end I guess

The food tastes better, and oh so much better, and when your toddler eats home grown with gusto when she would have thrown shop bought over the edge of high chair, that speaks volumes. And my 12 yr old will have half his plate veg (not including potatoes) and loves it.

The difference knowing where the veg came from having control over how it's grown and the satisfaction of a great achievement, giving kids a great foundation in life, they watch seed germinate and grow into what they eat, an education in itself.
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Slave77
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's more like it, tagwex, sorry about that, you obviously have the good old keyboard cos you could manage a lot more than me.... Maybe it's best I don't have one... Embarassed Embarassed
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slave77 wrote:
Ah shoot, tagwex I was trying to save time and thought I was copying the orig post, damn the iPad, give me a good old qwerty keyboard any day.....!, Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed


Interesting point. Given that the keyboard of an iPad have no moving parts whatsoever, the qwerty keyboard is completely redundant. Apart from the touch typing aspect.
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Slave77
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, my potatoes it's the 2 handed thing, this 1 finger typing is limiting my vocab and my patience Evil or Very Mad
That along with the touch screen, if it hasn't finished loading the page and you touch, you could end up anywhere...... And I "HAD" an I.T background........
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's better you non-plagiarist!
No keyboard here, I do it all by thought processes.

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Lius
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget that we are satisfying the most basic primal instinct to be self sufficient when we grow veg, gather fruits/berries/mushroom, hunt, fish, build and do diy.

Doing anything for yourself is the most satisfying and rewarding feeling you can experience.
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