Today I spoke to our green thumbed volunteer, Kate who takes care of all of our growing and gardening needs down here at the Trust about what’s currently growing in our polytunnel. Before learning more about our agricultural asset I was convinced that it was a contingency plan for a zombie apocalypse but obviously this is not the case. Turns out we are currently growing 14 different species of vegetables and fruits; courgettes, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, parsnips, herbs, radishes etc. The time required to grow of all the species of fruits and vegetables varies from species to species, some take only weeks others like carrots for example take months! Some require to be nourished more frequently than others and some need more space, many combinations of variables have to be considered and leaves room to expand your gardening knowledge and it can be a very enjoyable hobby!
From the very little knowledge of farming I already had I was aware that large commercial farms used pesticides, other chemicals and preservatives. Kate doesn’t use any sort of pesticides, or chemicals that can induce an allergic reaction which conversely is not the usual practice in larger organizations that grow similar products albeit in much larger quantities. Kate explained that in the polytunnel there are obviously pests that can be detrimental to the vegetation but there are also other pests higher on the food chain than them, so nature takes its course and the plants are grown with water and soil exclusively.
The fruit and vegetables we grow are given back to our local community and we hope that having the polytunnel here will inspire people to perhaps grow their own food. It’s tastier, cheaper and healthier than consumer bought products and is so easy to do yourself. It’s a great way to spend time with your children, educate them on healthy eating, nature and is a great bonding experience especially during the sunny weather! It’s also a fantastic hobby for elderly people as it is not too laborious, it’s cheap, easy to start, has a lot of depth to it and just like any hobby can be very addicting once you become immersed in it. Why not try it yourself and let us know how you get on? Start with something simple like lettuce, peas or radishes, water them every day, remove all the weeds and when they’re finished growing make something nice for yourself, you won’t regret it!
If you would like any more information or would like advice on growing your own fruits and vegetables just drop by!