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Growing your own window sill vegetables gives a sense of achievement

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 June 2017

Growing seeds on a window sill is an easy way to get some home-produced food - and reuse plastic pots.
Photo: Sheena Grant

Growing seeds on a window sill is an easy way to get some home-produced food - and reuse plastic pots. Photo: Sheena Grant

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Space is currently short on the window sills of my conservatory, writes Sheena Grant. And that’s because they are being taken over by an ever-increasing number of pots containing everything from runner bean seedlings to herbs, tomatoes, spinach and salad leaves.

Regular readers may recall I wrote last month about my troubled relationship with growing veg.

Having previously suffered from slug attacks, drought and blight, this year I decided to take advantage of a free seeds offer in my local Co-op and grow potted produce on a small scale, indoors.

And so far, it’s going well. We’ve even had our first ‘crop’, some cress that was admittedly small in amount but nevertheless gave a real sense of achievement as I snipped the stalks to add to a salad.

Everything I’ve planted is growing, in some cases fast. I’m even about to do a second sowing of additional spinach and lettuce seeds I bought for £1 each to provide a regular supply throughout summer.

Not everyone has space or time to garden outside but growing inside is far less daunting. The only seedlings I plan to transplant outside are the beans and, having grown them before, I know they are so easy to care for, not even I can go wrong. My veg growing tallies with another topic I’ve given a lot of thought to recently: plastics and the damage they cause to our planet.

Last week, I wrote about uninhabited Henderson Island in the South Pacific, which scientists say is littered with the highest density of plastic waste anywhere in the world - 37.7 million pieces.

That prompted Rita Grehan, who lives near Yarmouth, to get in touch.

Rita says that for many years, she did an annual rubbish collection on a local stretch of beach and was always surprised by the amount and diversity of debris. “One of the most sensible recent moves is to limit the use of plastic carrier bags,” she wrote. “Even so, it will be years before we see even a marginal effect.”

Rita also highlighted a campaign resolution to reduce plastics (specifically microplastic fibres from synthetic clothes that find their way into the world’s oceans) that comes before this month’s National Federation of Women’s Institutes annual meeting.

Rita goes on to say she favours reuse of plastic waste over recycling, which uses more energy, something with which I agree. Which brings me back to my conservatory seed pots, all of which have been ‘saved’ for reuse from garden centre purchases over the years. What’s more, those pots are standing in repurposed icecream tubs and other supermarket food pots.

Reuse is something our throwaway society has fallen out of love with. As children, we used to earn a few pennies by taking empty soft drink glass bottles back to the shop for reuse.

Rita adds: “I still have the convenience of a milkman, who brings and collects bottles for reuse and on the Continent beer is often purchased in glass bottles, which are returned for a fee and refilled. The fashion of carrying bottled water about is, to me, most peculiar. You never saw that 50 years ago. You cannot go back in time, nor would we want to, however we have to think ahead if we are to have a future.”

Share your tips via email or Tweet her using #ThriftyLiving.

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