Meet Richard @sharpenyourspades from Cardiff, United Kingdom 🏴 “Growing my own fruit and vegetables began with a packet of tomato seeds, a pot and a tiny backyard and emerged from my passion for cooking. Through cooking, I learned a key lesson. It’s not the complexity of a recipe that makes for an excellent dish but the ingredients that are used to make it. One year, in early spring I threw a few tomato seeds in a pot and with little knowledge or experience, I waited to see what would happen. What followed became an obsession.
When you step away from the supermarket shelves and grow fruit and vegetables yourself, you become aware of the incredible variety of crops available. There is a particular kind of pleasure to be had by popping a seed in the ground, nurturing the plant that appears and then enjoying the fruits and vegetable that it provides. When you have the ability to grow crops of different colours, shapes and flavours it’s hard not to fall in love with growing your own food.
I garden with my 7 year old daughter and I try to grow vegetables she enjoys and ones that inspire her to eat them. Growing food together enables me to demonstrate to her where our food comes from and I hope establishes a relationship for her with the food she eats. Over the past year, I’ve moved to no-dig gardening and the benefits have amazed me. It’s resulted in good crops, more time, less weeds and helps prevent damages from pests too. It’s also an approach that provides much healthier soil.
Like most families, we have busy working lives and I understand the idea of taking on an allotment can be daunting. However, I genuinely believe it’s possible to manage the daily life and enjoy all the benefits of a kitchen garden too. If not an allotment then in a small garden, a few pots or a windowsill. I’m consistently looking for ways to improve the practice of allotment gardening as modern life is time consuming but I know there are significant benefits to be had from growing fruit, veg and flowers on the plot.”