Why I choose to grow my own

I have been ever conscious (over the last few weeks in particular) that there has been a large expanse of time since I wrote my first two blog posts. This was not planned but was necessary as I have been extending my house, which ended up finishing later than expected (and taking much more of my time!). Fortunately this is basically finished and I can get back to thinking about the blog and getting back to what I enjoy the most – growing my own. The forced break was at one point a tough time and for a few days I did really struggle due basically to applying too much pressure on myself. A few days of feeling like my heart would jump out of my chest was no fun at all, but luckily I have a good family around me and a girlfriend who understood. So by talking about it I feel I dodged what could have been an unpleasant episode.

A few images below of the house work – before an after.

Now, why do I choose to grow my own… probably two main reasons which are exercise and taste, not just these of course but they are the top two in my head. Anything you have grown yourself tastes better, I believe there is some science behind that. However when you have grafted away for days with soil prep, sowing, weeding, watering etc anything is bound to taste that bit better – after all ‘I did it’ right? The exercise part is simple enough – I am an office boy by day spending most of the 7.5 hours in a chair. For that reason getting exercise is vital and I am no gym bunny, its just not my thing. But 6+ hours in a garden at the weekend and a few hours some evenings gets yours legs moving and your blood pumping. Having always lived in the country and coming from a family in the building trade I am no stranger to graft and being outside, so gardening (eventually) became my thing. I can tell you now, nothing is more frustrating these days than sitting in an office on a lovely sunny day with jobs in the garden waiting.

Some of 2017’s veg harvest.

There are of course other reasons to garden, I’m sure most people will be familiar with them and give them different priorities to me. Growing your own gives a great sense of achievement – sowing that seed and seeing it grow from a pair of leaves into a full blown plant (sometimes several feet high) is a wonderful thing. With this of course you get a harvest to cook and enjoy in your own way. Leading on to another reason for gyo – its as fresh as it can be, quite literally minutes (seconds if you run) from being in the ground to going in the pot or on the plate. Growing my own has also allowed me to expand my tastes in food – I was (and to a smaller degree still am) a fussy eater. By growing the food myself and understanding where it comes from, along with having control over how much I use in any given meal, my horizons have expanded significantly. No doubt this will continue for some years to come and is a very good thing.

My garden at its low point.

For me the last point but by know means least is health – not physical but mental, I missed my garden and it did fall into a poor state towards autumn and winter. I don’t doubt worrying about this played a part in my brush with mental health albeit a small one. It gave me the smallest glimpse in to a darker place, one which others know far more of than I. Having read many people say how gardening has such a positive role in their lives I can appreciate this a little more now. Hopefully with this blog I can inspire a few more people to pick up a spade, rake and fork to discover for themselves the great satisfaction and calming influence a bit of growing your own can bring.

Next time round I will be sharing some of my gardening plans for 2018, along with my seed listing for the year.

See you all soon.

7 Comments


  1. Great introspection Steve. I reply here because I recognize myself a little in you. A job sitting all day, a doctor who tells me to play sports and I think like you, I do it every week in my garden, a desire to grow my own …
    It will be a benefit for your health, for your children who will see in you a model to follow. Continue, take care of yourself and wait a little … spring is coming!

    Reply

    1. I got a big garden fix this weekend which was very satisfying.
      Gardening gives you lots of exercise with different muscles for each task as well so although sport is great, gardening is my number 1 choice.
      My dad and grandparents are (or were) gardeners so I appear to be following in their footsteps.

      Reply

  2. It’s life! Things get in the way. But the garden will always patiently await you, taunting you by growing its own for you to clear. There is another reason for gardening, of course, and a certain Mr Propagator (you know who I mean) epitomises that. It’s a love of seeds. The thrill of germination. All the potting on. The planting out. The wondering will the neighbours notice the fence has moved and their garden has shrunk. The eventual triumph when you harvest. Congratulations on enlarging your house and thus creating more space for all those seed trays ……..

    Reply

    1. Indeed, the garden will always be waiting and taunting if you can’t get to it.
      Mr Propogator is a great one to follow – always lots going on and of course the six on Saturday features. One day I will get round to entering that.

      Reply

  3. Nice!
    I love gardening! Like you say… getting outside and just digging. Your carrots did well in 2017! Mine were terrible, not sure why. Anyway, here’s to a better crop this year. X

    Reply

    1. I am lucky that carrots always seem to do ok for me. Could be sandy soil helps and i remove as many stones as i can when digging.
      Hopefully you will have better luck in 2918

      Reply

  4. Glad you’ve made so much progress with the extension Steve, that is quite an achievement to be proud of I’m sure. And now it’s basically finished you’ll be able to garden guilt-free every weekend. Bring on those longer summer evening after work too I say!

    Looking forward to seeing what new things you and your expanding tastes try in 2018!

    Reply

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