“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world. ”Michael Pollan
During the first half of last century, through two world wars, private citizens were encouraged to grow their own vegetables and fruits and these gardens made up over forty percent of the total of all produce consumed in America and between sixty and eighty percent of all produce consumed elsewhere in the world. That’s home gardens feeding families and communities from things that were locally grown.
Gardening is not rocket science. Kindergarteners and dementia patients grow things. It’s not age or gender specific either – gardening is available to everyone, even if what you grow is a few fresh herbs on your kitchen windowsill, or a pot on your balcony with a tomato bush or a lemon tree.
With much of the world needing to slow down and socially distance, gardening is a cheap form of recreation that can provides numerous benefits. Mental health is improved when you garden. It helps calm anxiety and reduces stress and feelings of social and emotional isolation. It improves gut flora, and grounds your energy. It can also improve sleep quality. Gardening on a larger scale can help with your fitness and overall wellbring too. AND you can grow produce that you can eat or share with your family and friends.
The ten easiest plants for beginners, that can be grown in a garden or on a balcony, are:
- Lettuce and Asian Greens
- Micro-greens (sprouted seeds than can be added to salads, soups and as garnishes or flavourings)
Over the coming weeks I’ll show you some step by step methods for growing these plants, what to grow in your location – depending on the season, and I’ll explore some great choices for those of you who have a larger garden plot and room for more than just a few plants.
All of these vegetables can be grown from seed, or from seedlings you’d find at your local farmers market or garden store.
You’ll need seeds or seedlings, pots and potting mix/soil, a watering can/jug/hose and access to sunlight.
For the microgreens (sprouts) you’ll need a sprout tray system or a large clean glass jar and a lid with holes drilled into it or piece of gauze to put over the mouth of the jar.
Even if you are a complete beginner I can show you how to grow sprouts for your salad, or a few greens or herbs. It’s easy!
Here’s to having a green thumb! Much love, Nicole xx