Nowadays we’re more disconnected to the sources of our food than ever. The growth of supermarkets means that we choose convenience over quality and often don’t have a clue where the products we’re buying were grown, how those involved in the production process are treated, or what additives, artificial colours or pesticides are used on them before they reach our plates. So why not start taking matters into your own hands and producing more of the food that you consume from in your own home. Of course, you’re not going to be able to make absolutely everything you consume yourself. But small steps are positive. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
The conditions of the hens that lay eggs to stock supermarket shelves are often atrocious. Especially if the birds are caged. So why not ensure that your eggs come from a happy, well looked after hen? Take on a few hens of your own. All they need for a good quality of life is a large coop, feed, water, and bedding. They should also have plenty of space to roam freely. This will keep them safe from predators, well exercised, content and produce some delicious eggs for your breakfast, cake mixes and omelets. Just make sure you are thoroughly briefed on how to care for them properly before introducing them to your home.
Potatoes are extremely versatile and form the base of so many traditional meals that we find ourselves going through plenty of them during our lifetime. So try growing your own to chip, bake, mash, and boil. There are two main branches of potato species: new crops and main crops. New crops produce New Potatoes which are ready to harvest quickly. Main crops are in the ground for a longer period of time but produce more and larger potatoes. Start out by purchasing seed potatoes or “tubers”. They will appear the same as your average potato but they are guaranteed to be virus free. You can find thorough instructions regarding the rest of the process and potential problems that you may face here.
The perfect garnish for a gin and tonic! The ideal cucumber is fresh and crisp. Many gardeners will warn that they’re difficult to grow due to their relatively soft and vulnerable nature. Especially during the summer months when more animals will target them for their hydration. But potting sheds can protect your crops and give softer foods the perfect environment to flourish in. Remember that the best quality cucumbers are often well protected and grown indoors.
Carrots are another staple on most of our dinner plates. This healthy root vegetable can be used for all sorts, from a simple addition to the side of your plate to components for stew or dipping in hummus. All that they need is loose, sandy soil. They are hardy, tolerating frost and most varieties are resistant to pests and diseases. Perfect!
Try out these different options. Who knows? You might have a knack for it and expand your homegrown produce to incorporate all sorts of other ingredients for your meals.