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Growing your own vegetables and herbs adds up both economically and environmentally

PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 May 2017

Growing your own food is thrifty and sustainable, says Sheena Grant, who is taking advantage of a free seeds offer in her local supermarket

Photo: PA

Growing your own food is thrifty and sustainable, says Sheena Grant, who is taking advantage of a free seeds offer in her local supermarket Photo: PA

Archant

I have what can only be called a troubled history when it comes to growing my own veg, writes Sheena Grant.

My past is littered with almost as many failed spring sowings as the late Elizabeth Taylor had marriages.

But like Liz, I remain ever hopeful.

That’s why I’m putting all the disasters involving pests, precipitation (too much and too little) and everything else in between behind me and having another attempt at nurturing my green fingers this year.

After all, it’s got to be the most obvious thing to do for anyone attempting to live life a little more thriftily.

Growing your own - even just a few herbs or salad leaves in a pot - adds up both economically and environmentally.

And recent troubles with supermarkets running out of salad veg because of adverse weather in southern Europe shows just how fragile our food security is, especially as we’ve all become so used to having out of season produce from around the globe all year round.

My growing optimism this spring has been sparked by my local Co-op store, which is currently running a free seeds promotion. For every £5 you spend instore you get a sticker (Wednesday is double sticker day for members) and when you’ve collected four stickers, you get a free ‘Goodness Gang’ seed pot. So far, I’ve collected tomato, aubergine, carrot, basil, thyme and rocket.

But that’s only the start. There are a host of others, including dill, radish, lamb’s lettuce, parsley, spinach, coriander, cress and cucumber to go, which may be a tall order as I think the promotion ends at the end of the month.

But still, if I manage to get any of the ones my son and I have already planted to the point of harvest that will represent a real success, especially as my last attempt at growing anything managed to feed only the local slug population.

The Goodness Gang promotion is obviously aimed at sparking an interest in growing food amongst children and I’m sure it will, but I’d advise all the big kids out there to take advantage of it too. This is, after all, food for free and you know what they say about gifts and horses.

I’ve even branched out a little further than the Goodness Gang and picked up a few more packets of seeds - runner beans, lettuce and spring onions - for just £1 each from a budget store.

As I don’t have much space in my garden for vegetable beds, I’m leaning towards growing my produce in containers - including repurposing a wicker log basket that’s seen better days - or investing in reusable grow bags, which can be bought very cheaply from budget stores.

When it comes to growing my own, maybe this time, I’ll be lucky, as Cabaret star Liza Minnelli, someone else who’s had her share of failed marriages, famously once (kind of) sang.

Share your tips via email or Tweet using #ThriftyLiving.

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