Grow up and eat your vegetables!!!! That’s the message from surveyor Chris this week as he sheds light on one of his passions, while explaining what the Councils’ surveyors are doing to help our communities keep on growing…. 🍅🍆🥒🥕
My mum used to hate waste and always tried as many was as possible to get us to eat vegetables.
I think this was for two reasons, the first being that they were cheaper than meat and that she grew most of them in our back garden.
Throughout my childhood I would do whatever necessary to hide or dispose of unwanted or undesirable foods (particularly vegetables) which were offered to me and never really understood how much love and attention she had put into growing and providing these foods.
Well I am older now and find myself acting and thinking more like my mum every day. I hate wastage of any sort whether it is food, electricity, money or even time and have obtained a bit of a reputation of being slightly frugal (although others call it tight or scrooge like but I don’t think I am quite that bad …).
I had a brainwave one day of starting to grow vegetables in our back garden which my wife was happy with until I drew up plans and she realised that I planned to use the WHOLE garden where not a single blade of grass was to be seen. This obviously didn’t go down well.
She then went on the hunt for an alternative and found an allotment site not far from our house.
Well that was the start of a mild obsession where I could, through some hard work, grow my own food which not only tastes great, is available whenever I need it and costs a mere fraction of shop bought.
We have many great allotment sites throughout Adur and Worthing but everyone has the ability to grow something at home whether they have a small piece of land they can use, a patio or decking area, a balcony or even a window sill.
You could go ambitious with beans, potatoes or sweetcorn or there are some tasty things you can grow without virtually any effort at all like carrots or radishes.
The main ingredients you will need is a pot, some compost and seeds and, of course, water.
We all know that water is a valuable resource that we need to conserve and use wisely – what can be better than for food?.
With this in mind we, the Council, is just about to start an ambitious scheme in Worthing to replace all the existing water supply pipes to our West Tarring allotment site.
The existing water pipe which is made of steel and has now pin-pricked in so many areas that plot holders are losing pressure and water.
Another allotment themed project in Adur which has now been completed was the replacement of all the water standpipes to allotment sites. We have replaced the old steel and copper fittings for new stainless steel standpipes which have all the required non-return valves in order to meet with Southern Water regulations.
The scheme to replace 73 units took about six weeks to be completed. When you think that each one had to be hand dug out to a depth of at least 850mm, installed, connected and then backfilled it shows the contractor wasn’t messing about.
One last thing to mention is that two vegetable patches to commemorate the start of World War One have been planted at Worthing’s Beach House Park and Highdown Gardens.
They go to show how much is possible to grow with such a small space. It also goes to show me that the guys from our parks department and the Worthing Allotment Management team know so much more than me about growing, as these both look amazing.
So to finish my advice would be to just “give it a go” whether small or large it is possible to grow something which you can share with your friends and family. Although mine have no interest at all in my allotment they do however swarm on me when I get home emptying the bags of all the raspberries, peas and gooseberries. I am proud of the fact that although they have little interest, they now know where all the vegetables come from and can name them all from potatoes to courgettes.
Thanks for reading. More next week.