Growers Hub

5 reasons to start growing your own food or start an allotment

Written by
Ed Morrison
November 30, 2021

The recent COVID pandemic has taught us that in order to live our best lives we must spend more time outside in nature and have access to nutritious food not supermarket queues! Growing food is a great thing to do for your future health and our planets too.

Here’s 5 reasons we think you need to start growing in 2022!

1) Food is medicine!

You want to make sure your brain and body are getting the best nutrients available to them - by growing your own there’s no better way to be more in control of your health needs. Once you start eating your own produce and compare it to shop bought - you’ll never want to go back! 

FYI: Produce loses on average 30% nutrients within 3 days of being picked.

2) It’s super sustainable and planet friendly!

Single use plastic shop bought produce can travel hundreds if not thousands of miles and use many fossil fuels in their creation and distribution. Don’t contribute towards that system by growing your own, avoiding pesticides and chemical fertilizers and go field to fork in hours not days! 

FYI: The UK imports over 50% of the food it consumes every year.

3) Help local biodiversity flourish!

Investing in the environment around us will help nature thrive! By growing vegetables, flowers and fruit you’re helping create and sustain life above and below the ground. From attracting pollinators, to composting for good soil health, or boosting underground fungal networks - you will be directly contributing towards a brighter future for us all.

FYI: ⅓ of British Wild Bees are in decline

4) Get a Mental, Physical, Social Boost

Watching nature grow helps open your senses to new sites, colours, smells, tastes and experiences. You’ll get a sweet mental boost from taking part in such a sensory and wholesome activity - especially when you’re sharing tasty home grown produce with friends and family.  

FYI: People who garden at least 2 or 3 times a week experience less stress and an increased sense of wellbeing comparable to that of daily exercise.

5) Save money, gain better food security

Fresh produce is becoming increasingly more expensive and weekly shop prices are likely to keep on going up and up! Brexit, climate change, covid, staff issues - we’re not too sure what’s going on either! We think the best thing to do is to grow your own and know that you’ll be saving money and gaining health!

FYI: A salad may cost £1.50 in supermarkets but a packet of 100 seeds is less than £1!

1) No digging needed! Your Back Will Thank You

Yes, it’s true. You’ll be picking bountiful harvests without needing to dig, turn or fork the earth! Your back will thank you because digging takes about 2 x times longer than No dig. Beds are made by covering your growing ground in cardboard and placing nutrient rich compost on top - giving you a surface that’s ready to plant straight away!

2) Less weeding 

Weeds get suppressed by the layer of cardboard and compost, they then die off because of no sunlight! If soil stays undisturbed then weeds and their seeds are more likely to stay locked into the ground instead of sprouting when disturbed on a traditionally dug allotment.

3) Feeding the soil creates healthier plants

By building yearly layers of organic matter and not disturbing the soil’s ecosystem, you will increase the amount of good microbial activity. Good microbes help plants access nutrients and water, so the healthier your soil - the healthier your plants! 

4) You’ll do less watering!

No dig beds retain moisture better because you’re introducing organic matter, not taking it away. By keeping the soil’s ecosystem in-tact and encouraging bacteria, fungi and worms to do their thing will create better layers of soil that save water for when your plants need it - instead of bare dug ground that leaks moisture! Water is a precious resource and no dig helps us make the most of every drop!

5) Higher Yields Are Scientifically proven!

No dig has been proven to produce significantly higher yields by Charles Dowding over the last 9 years at his Homeacres Farm. He has been weighing the results of identically planted dug vs no dig beds and over that time the results are 100’s of kg’s greater.

6) Reduce Single-Use Plastic! <3 The Planet!

Every harvest throughout the seasons means you’ll be totally cutting out vast amounts of single use plastic that is used in supermarket produce! The supply chains we rely on use way too much making no dig a great way to start reducing personal consumption of single use plastic.

7) Experience Less pests & diseases

The result of great soil health by the no-dig method helps good bacteria, insects and animals thrive! Using natural methods of pest control we can learn to work with nature instead of against it - a single teaspoon of healthy rich soil can contain up to 1 billion bacteria!.

8) You’ll help fungal networks and they’ll help your plants grow

Fungi are a super important part of running a productive healthy patch. When soil is full of life and undisturbed there will be miles and miles of fungal networks beneath your feet trading nutrients with each other and your plants.

9) Save time and be 40% more productive by no dig!

When you don’t need to spend hours and hours digging, turning and prepping the soil for planting, you’ll be able to spend it doing the fun creative side of gardening - planning, planting, pruning your patch to create your own edible zen garden.

As a bonus you will also feel the mental and physical boost of growing your own

Gardening and feeding yourself with incredibly fresh nutrient dense food has amazing positive side effects for both people and the planet. As time goes by you’ll feel closer and more at one with nature.