Nutrition with Jane McClenaghan: You just can’t beat growing your own food

Salad leaves, like lettuce, are an amazing place to begin your grow-your-own journey

DO you develop your personal? Last 12 months, because the world hibernated, many people discovered solace in nature, and a part of that was discovering how simple it’s to develop meals in our personal again yards.

No matter whether or not you may have acres of land or only a windowsill, all of us have slightly house that we are able to dedicate to rising one thing we are able to eat.

This week I spoke to Jilly Dougan, from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, about a number of the work she is doing in colleges to create mini orchards the place kids can expertise the enjoyment of sowing, rising and consuming fruit.

Schools throughout Northern Ireland have little patches of land the place they’ve raised beds for greens, slightly plot of land to develop fruit timber, or a small house to nature strawberry crops.

From strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, to apples, plums and pears, there are such a lot of fruits that may be grown in a comparatively small house, and take little or no effort for a wealthy harvest.

The great point is that rising your personal fruit and veg could be simple. It would not must take up a variety of time, require a variety of talent and when you get into the behavior, you may wish to develop all type of completely different meals in your little plot.

From a dietary viewpoint, you simply cannot beat rising your personal meals.

Picking one thing straight from your personal backyard and having it in your plate instantly implies that all of the vitamins are preserved, and the flavour is like nothing you should purchase within the grocery store – to not point out the consequences on our planet.

The meals miles are non-existent, and it’ll make all of the distinction to the quantity of plastic we use.

Growing your personal means meals miles are non-existent

If you may have by no means grown your personal, then there are some simple issues you can begin with.


The wonderful thing about rising your personal salad is that can uncover a lot flavour and selection. Choose a pack of seeds that appears vibrant, with lot of number of completely different leaves and you may be packing a lot vitamin into your weight-reduction plan. Beta carotene, magnesium, vitamin C and Ok, iron, calcium, potassium and a great deal of antioxidants.

Jilly Dougan says: “Salad leaves are simple to develop, and in the event you develop cut-and-come-again varies, you could possibly be choosing salad leaves from late spring by means of to late autumn.”

All you want is a pot, a packet of seeds and a few persistence. Pop some compost right into a pot, bucket, trough, or any container you need (simply be certain that there are drainage holes within the backside off your container), sprinkle the seeds on high and canopy with a really skinny layer of compost. Give it some water, and in a couple of quick weeks (about 4), you’ll have some tasty salad leaves. Just be certain that the soil is saved moist.

It is a good suggestion to have two pots going directly, in order quickly as you begin to see little seedlings seem, get sowing your second pot. Keep this rotation going, and you’ll have scrumptious and nutritious salad leaves all summer time lengthy.

Other simple meals to develop are:

  • Radishes
  • Peas and beans
  • Pumpkins
  • Courgettes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Beetroot
  • Micro greens
  • Pea shoots
  • Scallions

Herbs are a kitchen backyard important too. They will add a pop of flavour to your meals, a number of highly effective antioxidants and are so a lot better than shopping for countless luggage of herbs wrapped in plastic.

Or why not attempt some edible flowers like nasturtiums, violas or calendula. Pop a couple of in your salad to make it look stunning and a bit fancy.

Whatever you might be as much as this weekend, make slightly time to plant one thing you’ll be able to eat, and watch it develop.

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Growing your personal veg is an excellent household exercise

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