Growing Your Own

Growing Your Own

The one way that you can be sure of what is in your food, 100% is if you have grown it yourself.

Very few of us are lucky enough to live on a plot of land that is large enough for us to be able to be totally self-sufficient, but it is amazing just how much you can grow even in a very small space.

Food that is harvested and eaten on the same day (sometimes within minutes) tastes absolutely amazing, has the maximum nutrients and is obviously the freshest you will ever encounter; there is also something very satisfying about eating things that you have produced yourself.

Gardening is also extremely beneficial to our health in itself;

"Just being in nature is already therapeutic, but actively connecting with nature through gardening is value-added." http://www.healinglandscapes.org/blog/2011/01/its-in-the-dirt-bacteria-in-soil-makes-us-happier-smarter/

To get healthy plants you need healthy soil with the right nutrients in it. Instead of adding commercial chemical fertilisers or spending a fortune buying compost, make your own - once you get the hang of it, it's easy.

Download the following composting guide HERE

Composting

A Step-by-Step Guide

Why Compost?
  • It is inexpensive, easy and a natural process
  • Gives you free valuable and nutrient rich fertiliser for your garden
  • Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill (in landfill the organic waste produces harmful greenhouse gasses because the air cannot get to it)
  • Composting at home is done above ground so the oxygen in the air allows the waste to decompose aerobically – no methane is produced
  • Offset your CO2 emissions (global warming gas) – composting for one year can save the same amount that your kettle produces in that time
The Right Place - (ideally)
  • A sunny place
  • On bare soil or with a layer of paper & twigs at the bottom to allow worms to colonise
  • Where you can easily get to it to put your waste in and get your compost out
The Right Ingredients – (what do I add?)

Get yourself a small bucket or bin that you can keep in the kitchen to collect your waste (Do NOT put cooked food, meat or fish in) – when it gets full empty it into your compost bin – anything from the following two lists can be added. The best compost comes from a 50:50 mix of the two types.

Green Waste
Brown Waste
Vegetable peelings, leaves, fruit scraps
Cardboard & paper (scrunched or shredded)
Tea bags
Garden prunings, clippings, twigs
Coffee grounds, filter papers
Straw, Hay, bedding from vegetarian pets
Grass cuttings
Crushed egg shells
Nettles & young annual weeds (chickweed)
Ashes (from wood sources)
Old flowers & spent bedding plants
Natural fibres (ripped or shredded)
Leaves
Sawdust & wood chippings
 
Corn cobs & stalks
Patience – (how long does it take?)
  • Now you need to let nature do its work – it can take between nine and twelve months for your compost to be ready to use.
  • Keep on adding greens and browns to top up your compost as the lower layers break down
When is it Ready? -
  • Once your compost has turned into a dark, crumbly material, that looks like thick, moist soil and smells earthy and fresh it's ready to use
  • Don’t worry if it has bits of twigs or eggshell or looks a bit lumpy, but if the bits become too big (obviously not rotted) put them back in the top
Remove & Use –
  • Remove the compost from the bottom of the bin (a bin with a hatch is the best) with a scoop or trowel – use it to
  • Fertilise borders/veg patches
  • Around trees and as a mulch
  • Plant containers
  • Feed the lawn

Continue to top-up from the top and you will get a steady supply of fresh compost

NEVER: -
  • add faeces from any animal that eats meat (including human animals) this contains pathogens
  • add – perennial weeds (brambles, thistles, dandelions etc.), anything with seed heads or you will get the best weed patch in the neighbourhood

To make a good composting bin see the YouTube video (above) on how to make your own from wooden pallets.

Much more to come yet - we are still unpacking from the old website

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