Many people are beginning to discover the joys of edible gardening, and it is a lot easier than most people think. There are so many good reasons to begin growing your own food and really no reason not to.
There is the satisfaction of eating produce you have grown yourself, and many people swear that home grown fruits and vegetables will taste much better than supermarket produce . Home grown tomatoes and strawberries particularly are said to have a superior flavour and aroma.
You also get to eat the freshest produce possible, one of the many benefits of harvesting food as you need it straight from the garden. It’s a great way to save money and reduce waste in the home and garden, utilising urban space to grow your own food is becoming very popular as one of the best things you can do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
A productive edible garden can also be a relaxing and visually pleasing space, and is a great way to learn about plants and a healthy and satisfying way to spend more time outdoors, there is always something happening in the edible garden!
It’s also the best way to get kids involved in the garden and give them a better understanding of where food comes from. There are lots of easier jobs that are great for little ones, planting seeds, weeding and of course harvesting favourites like strawberries are all fun ways to teach kids about food and sustainability, and young and old alike learn a great deal even just observing the way the food garden grows and changes through the seasons.
Growing your own food can be one of the most satisfying and pleasurable experiences you can have in the garden and is much easier than most people think. Even those with the smallest of spaces can enjoy growing their own food with a herb garden in containers, even a windowsill is enough space to grow herbs.
Here are 5 great ways to get started
1. Start your own container garden
This is a great way for those with limited space to begin growing food plants. There are many herbs, vegetables and fruits that grow well in containers. Start out with a mixed planting of herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil or garlic chives. Or try growing your own strawberries in a pot or hanging basket, strawberries are one of the best fruits to grow in a container.
2. Start a no-dig vegetable garden
Potatoes are one of the best veges to plant in a no-dig garden. This is for those with a little more space, and is the easiest way to begin your vegetable garden. This method reduces the need for weeding, returns organic matter and life to the soil and is the best way to start your own vegetable garden from scratch. You won’t need to dig up your garden bed, and you can grow all kinds of vegetables and fruits in a no-dig bed. Try strawberries, pumpkins, potatoes and beans as these will all establish very well in a no-dig garden. Tips on No dig vegetable gardening…
3. Start your own Worm Farm
Starting your own worm farm is one of the best things you can do if you’d like to begin growing your own food. Worm-farming is a great way to make your home and garden more sustainable, it’s a sustainable way of dealing with organic waste, and an excellent resource for any gardener. A worm farm will take care of your kitchen waste, allowing you to recycle nutrients back into your soil. Your worm farm will also supply you with a steady stream of organic fertiliser and soil conditioner for your garden or pot plants, an invaluable resource for the home gardener! Worming your way into the garden…
4. Plant a fruit tree
Try growing your own native bush tucker, there are so many wonderful bush tucker fruits that are possible to grow yourself. Great native fruits to grow yourself are Davidson’s plum, Lilly Pilly, Lemon Aspen or even a Native Raspberry! Check out our article on Bush Tucker for Beginners.
Or for something more traditional, try growing your own citrus tree. Most citrus will do well in the garden or in a large container, and a common sight in the traditional Australian quarter acre is the familiar and prolific Lemon tree.
Citrus are fairly easy to grow yourself and are one of the best fruit trees for those starting out.
5. Sign up to Seed Savers
Seed Savers is a great not-for-profit organisation dedicated to sharing seeds and knowledge, and preserving our food heritage. This is a great way to find rare and interesting heirloom fruit and vegetable seeds, and one of the best ways to get hands on and learn about growing your own food. You may even find you want to start your own Local Seed Network as a way to connect with other people in your area who are interested in edible gardening. Find out more about Seed Savers here.