Me at a local community garden.

Trending: Grow-Your-Own Veg

Since the credit crunch in 2008, there’s been an exciting trend afoot in the UK. More and more people are growing their own fruit and vegetables. Whether we’re digging up our velvety useless lawns or pottering around allotments, it seems we’re rediscovering the joy of fresh home grown veggies. 


Me at a local community garden.

Me at a local community garden.

Although perhaps it’s only appropriate to call it a ‘joy’ when referring to the middle class foodies who are growing their own for the improved flavour and freshness. This green-fingered revolution includes them, of course, but also many struggling families who are just trying to be frugal. As food prices continue to march upwards, gardening can offer a welcome reduction to the weekly grocery bill.

In 2010 the lawn-to-edible garden transformation was proclaimed the top gardening trend in the US, and it’s taking root over here in the UK as well. It’s being encouraged by local councils and the Transition Network, and it’s even got celebrity backing: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is very enthusiastic about fresh local produce, and has set up Land Share – an initiative to link budding growers with unused plots of land.

Food prices are likely to continue rising, as cheap energy dwindles worldwide. In The Transition Timeline, sustainability writer Shaun Chamberlin worriedly states that 95% of the UK’s food is oil-dependent. Climate change commitments along with the increasing cost of shipping and air freight will logically result in more locally grown food. When you also consider that the UK’s farmers are a small and ageing population – with few young people keen to take up the rural reins – you see why I believe gardening will provide a large portion of our food in the years to come.


Want to know more?
Chamerberlin, S. (2009). “Chapter 8: Food and Water” in The Transition Timeline. Totnes: Green Books.

6 thoughts on “Trending: Grow-Your-Own Veg

  1. Regan, allotments aren’t all that common here in the US but small gardens have been a staple if only for tomatoes. The size and variety of the home garden is growing along with the number of people who are sharing their surplus. Everywhere you go around my town and the adjoining towns you see a small table with excess produce and cut flowers. A small box is set out for donations. Like Sue, I have introduced my grandchildren to gardening the excitement to see the growth from day to day is fun to watch as is watching the eat straight from the garden beds. They have found the taste of the homegrown food tastes better than store bought, which has increased the variety of produce they have eaten this past year.

    I see even more taking up gardening and the sharing of what is grown to bring neighbors closer.

    1. That’s brilliant, I love seeing those little stalls with fresh garden surplus – in my hometown opposite my old house there was a house that always did that. People were very honest as well, always putting the correct money in the jar.
      It’s great to hear you’ve taught your grandkids about the wonders of gardening! I’m doing a project with a local community garden at the moment and it’s so FUN gardening. When seedlings sprout or you dig for potatoes or something it’s just so exciting! I think so anyway.. :)

  2. I agree Growing our own food is being promoted more now here in the UK.. But we as a family have been growing our own food since my own children were babies some 37 yrs and I helped my Dad and my granddad in the allotments before that.. Coming from a working class background even way back then it was the only way to help the wage packet go further with the larger families of their day in the 50’s and 60’s.
    Today I prefer to grow my own as I know what I have in the soil, as we see far too many crops sprayed with who knows what, and GMO produce etc…
    Its good to see the Younger generation getting into the ‘Grow your Own’ habbit, and I am teaching the next generation my young soon to be 3 yr old Granddaughter how to interact and grow things in our allotments with us…
    We may be glad we did in the not too distant future!..

    Love your Blog and subjects.. Thank you for allowing me to comment

    1. Thanks for your comment Sue, and I’m really happy you like my blog! I agree growing your own food is definitely nothing new – it’s the re-establishment of something that used to be just basic life for everyone. It’s great that you’re teaching your grandkids to garden, I think they’ll really need those skills in their lifetimes! I think our food systems are going to change hugely in the coming years, for better or worse..

      1. Yes it will only take something to stop imports to stop and the supermarkets would soon be empty of familiar things we see on the shelves. We only have to look at the labelling to see how far afield it comes, and then wonder why in a matter of days out of cold storage every thing sweats and goes off so quickly..
        We could manage without many basic things… But we all need Food.. And looking towards the horizon, we need to be teaching our next generations the basic skills again…
        While I am all for technology and enjoy using my computer etc, But I am afraid some of the basic skills are being lost and wonder how people would cope if they were ever put into that situation of learning some basic survival skills! ..
        It is great to see you embracing the Earth and are of that wonderful next generation born at this time to help be a beacon for Nature and to help protect our Earth Mother..
        You are a true ‘Earth Baby’
        Thank you

        1. Thank you, what a lovely message! I do think of myself as an ‘Earth Baby’ which is where the name of my blog came from…
          And I totally agree about the need for reskilling.
          Thanks again for reading and commenting. X

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