Grow your own vegetables - About the project


About the grow your own vegetables project

Introduction (updated 2012)


The Global Supermarket & Food Miles



July 2012 update

Ignoring arguments about climate change vs natural variation, 2012 is proving (so far) to be quite an exceptional year; however, not in a particularly good way. At a garden centre in early July, we were talking with someone working there and they related a story about a gardener who was still actively growing - at 88 years of age, he said that this was the worst growing year he could remember. We thought it was just us thinking that, but the more we looked around, the more anecdotal evidence appeared to push the argument that it was indeed turning into a lousy year for growers. We have been struggling with vegetables in Oxfordshire and a friend in Lincolnshire talks of vegetables rotting in the fields.


What we seem to be seeing is a situation where growing food is important, but the conditions facing growers are growing more challenging.

See the updated introduction


Why start a project about growing food?


A few reasons:


Through general reading we've come across a lot of historical and contemporary material about food, how people got it in the past and the potential impact of climate change on food production for the near future.


After reading about salad and fruit growing in Antarctic bases, it got us thinking about growing in different environments.


From there we began thinking about how climate change could result in changes to food production, which led to possible problems with some pollinators (bees), and issues around food production like wheat blight UG99... we started to wonder if people take food for granted.


Then there are all the references to food introduced by the Romans - we've come across so many of these that you'd wonder if there was anything for people to eat before the Romans invaded. There almost seems to be an assumption that before then, people just scavenged about as hunter gatherers did a bit of basic agriculture here and there and a house was not much more than a mud hut... an assumption that conveniently disregards evidence in Scotland of quite sophisticated dwellings going back 5000 years... and... they must have had something to eat!


Today of course, you just need to pop into the local supermarket, but if something interrupts the modern supply chain, then apparently, the average supermarket has about 3 days supplies before they need more deliveries from storage warehouses.


Walk into a supermarket and it's spring onions from Mexico, beans from Kenya or Egypt, potatoes from Israel, strawberries from Spain etc etc.... the list seems to go on and on. It just seems more and more difficult to find fruit and vegetables grown in the UK.


Wonderful to be able to get all these things, but a little bothersome that it seems so hard to get local produce, although I've heard that some supermarkets do have a 'commitment' to supplying UK produce. A commitment is all very well, but what is done counts more than happy words.


So... given what we've read and the fact we like to do a fair bit of cooking, it seemed like a chance to try different approaches to growing some of our favourite vegetables and discover some products for our web shop.


If you would like to try growing your own vegetables, herbs and salads we may be able to supply some of the bits and pieces needed for you to try growing your own food or can direct you to the manufacturers, alternatively, you can try and find local suppliers.




Intro links


The Global Supermarket & Food Miles

Copyright wildchicken 2007



See the fruitwise test video


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