growing your own fruit and veg

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by ned, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. ned

    ned Valued Member

    Are there any other MAPers out there growing their own fruit and veg?You can't beat the freshness and convenience of homegrown produce with the added bonus of tastes and flavours you just can't get in the shops,at least here in the uk.Outstanding for me in this respect are carrots and tomatoes.
    Despite far from ideal conditions(cold,wet spring and parched late summer) I've also
    grown potatoes,broad and french beans,spinach,spring onions and courgettes.
    What have been your successes and failures?My little tomato plants have morphed into a huge triffid festooned with sweet bitesize fruits but I struggled to produce any decent
    supplies of lettuces.Most prolific crops are probably spinach beet and courgettes but
    everything is welcome in the kitchen.As a past-time it's also great exercise,as my old dad,
    88 and still going strong would testify!
  2. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    We've an apple tree that we do nothing with. Not even sure the fruit is edible without cooking.
    Our chickens eat some of them though.
    We've a long trough of strawberries that we pick, freeze and put in smoothies.
    Although that all came with the house so can't really take credit for them. :)
  3. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I've had quite a lot of tomatoes this year. I planted them quite late due to the lousy spring, but they caught up well during June and July.

    I also grew courgettes for the first time. Didn't get a big crop, but having my own fresh ones was nice.

    I never got round to planting any lettuce this year, which was a pity really.

    Got quite a lot more strawberries than last year, plus loads of brambles. I've only made juice so far and frozen it. I'll make it into bramble jelly one weekend soon.
  4. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    We always grow tomatoes and gooseberries, and we go pick blackberries and raspberries from nearby hedges etc.

    This year I've also grown jalapenos and scotch bonnet chillies on the windowsill. The jalapenos have been great, the scotch bonnet are a bit behind as I didn't water them enough initially so I'm hoping they'll still ripen.

    I'd love the space to grow more.

    Funnily enough I was listening to Jamie Oliver on the radio the other day. He mentioned that often buying frozen veg gets you a better vitamin content than buying fresh at the supermarket. His reasoning was that often fresh veg has been in warehouses, lorries and stock rooms for several days before it gets to the supermarket shelf, whereas frozen is usually processed and frozen within hours, preserving more.

    Not sure how true that is but it goes against my instinct to always buy fresh. Not to mention my instinct to ignore everything the wobbly-jowelled faux barrow boy ever says.

  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I think Oliver's onto something personally.
    If freezing maintains the nutrient content (does it? Is that definite?) then it makes sense that freezing quickly before transporting would be a better way of selling food than waiting a few days for some "fresh" stuff to make its way to the point of sale.
  6. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    my wife and i put in tomato plants for the first time. it's been amazing. we're planning on doubling our tomato yield next year and planting veggies for the first time.

    i agree about the freezing; it does offer an easy way to get yourself some veggies if you don't have good fresh options because of your location or season. canned products usually have more salt, amongst other potential ingredients.
  7. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    I've grown (and eaten) a pretty fair amount of hot peppers this year.

    This spring I planted some blackberry and blueberry plants, but I think it will be a while before there are a lot of berries.

    I plan to grow some tomatoes next year...

    I need to work on protecting these plants from critters. I see way more rabbits living here than I ever did when I lived out in the sticks. I have even seen the occasional raccoon, possum, deer and fox.
  8. ned

    ned Valued Member

    I agree with the idea,sometimes supermarket stuff starts to go mouldy within days,real markets are usually better but not always.The same thinking can also be applied to frozen fish.
    Some people blanch and freeze their own veg but I 've never had the time or space to do that.
    Fruit and veg expert Bob Flowerdew keeps a number of old redundant chest freezers in his brick outhouse in which he stores his apples,pears etc.over winter!
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  9. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    Didn't grow this year but me an my dad generally do a fair amount of tomatoes, rocket (easiest thing in the world btw) cucumber and whatever else he desides we're doing.

    I buy a lot of frozen veg and fish too, the latter for he price the former for the shelf life.
  10. ned

    ned Valued Member

    Herbs are a great addition to any garden and easy to grow.This time of year theres also
    loads of stuff you can pick in the wild;berries mushrooms ,nuts .
    "Foraging " is quite en vogue at the moment but the man who originally popularised the idea in the 70's was Richard Mabey whose book ,Food for free ,regarded as a classic ,is a good guide.
  11. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    Last time I picked mushrooms I was 17 and it is not a story for this forum :)
  12. ned

    ned Valued Member

    Any mushrooms need careful identification !! I only really bother with field mushrooms
    which I've picked since I was a kid.
    As a rule steer clear of anything with white gills.Or as I did with my kids,go on an organised "fungal foray"with an expert!
  13. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    We where looking for a type that a family funday probably wouldn't teach about ned haha.

    My mrs has a pretty impressive herb garden, or did before the puppy got a taste for tarragon, nothing like having fresh grown anything on your plate.
  14. Wildlings

    Wildlings Baguette Jouster

    Of course I do - see the location. :D
    Lemons, grapes, apples, prunes, peas and green beans at the moment. Plus olives, which means home-made extra-virgin oil all year.
  15. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    that's awesome wildings, regarding the oil.

    my father owns a house on the greek island where he's from. it's modest--my father worked in a factory in the states--but it's his own. he got some olive trees handed down to him which live on the house lot, so he sells the oil to an island cooperative and ships some of that oil back to the states for our family. one thing i've noticed with americans, they really don't know what olive oil tastes like and are always surprised when they taste my dad's oil. i think because the time they get it it's so ridiculously diluted.
  16. Wildlings

    Wildlings Baguette Jouster

    I remember buying it in London. :D I was like "what the hell is this!".
  17. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    hilarious. yes agreed.

    for me, it's on par with the difference between organic and non-organic produce. i'll never forget the first time i had an organic carrot, years ago. i had no idea, none, that carrots had a taste.
  18. flaming

    flaming Valued Member

    Potatoes. The cabbage got attacked by something after getting back from a holiday.
  19. ned

    ned Valued Member

    Dreaded cabbage white caterpillers?I pretty much gave up on brassicas down to them!
  20. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    I envy all of you! Here in the desert it's only practical for average folks to grow citrus like oranges, grapefruit, etc. It's possible to grow other things, but more work and cash than I'd be willing to invest. I need to move to cooler climbs... :/

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