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The ethical cook: Growing your own

Tips for getting you started on your own vegetable patch.

You can't get much more local food than food that's been grown outside the back door.

And as we all know, local food has fewer food miles and (generally) a smaller carbon footprint.

So, here are some tips for getting started on your own vege patch:

  • Even the tiniest apartment balcony can be home to an edible garden. Early spring is the right time to plant salad greens, tomatoes, courgettes, peas, beans, silver beet and potatoes. All can be grown in pots, too! Get some seeds or seedlings and experiment.
  • Use a bag of potting mix or compost from the garden centre as a portable garden – cut a few crosses or slits into the bag and plant vege and herb seedlings directly into it!
  • When you buy 'living' herb pots from the supermarket, try planting any leftovers in the garden (or your bag of potting mix or compost). Water at the roots and they should last several weeks if not several months.
  • Keep planting salad greens and herbs (seeds or seedlings) as you harvest, so you'll have a continuous supply.
  • Having a vege garden is a fantastic way to get kids to eat vegetables. Get them involved and they not only learn where food comes from, they're more keen to try new things if they've grown them themselves.
  • Use the compost from your worm farm or bokashi bucket to fertilise your garden and keep the cycle of re-use going. See The ethical cook: What to do with food waste fior more information.
  • Don't forget to save a few seeds from your crops to plant next season.

Date modified: April 3 2017
First published: Oct 2007

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