Green fingers

Grow your own food

Searching for local and seasonal produce that doesn’t cost the earth? Look no further than your own garden, patio or window box! Growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs is simple, cheap and rewarding, not to mention planet-friendly.

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Climate change

The global food supply chain is a long and complicated one. Processing, packaging, storing and transporting food adds up to a huge amount of energy. In fact, food production is responsible for 25% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.1

By just growing a small portion of your own fruit, veg and herbs, you can slash those emissions and take better care of the planet. If you’re buying in compost, make sure to source peat-free composts, otherwise all the carbon savings from your garden might be wiped out!2

Health

Not only does growing your own food get you outside and active, it also means you can control exactly what goes into your produce, ensuring that it’s pesticide and additive free. Better for you and better for the planet: win win!

Taste

Home-grown always tastes better. Growing your own produce means your food is guaranteed to be fresh and full of natural flavour. But don’t stop there: preserving your produce is great fun, means you can enjoy the benefits for longer, and cuts down on food waste.

Money

Growing your own food is a great way to shave a few pounds off your food bill. The more tactical you are about what you choose to grow, the more you’ll save. For example, a flourishing herb garden will mean no more expensive bags of mint, thyme, sage and so on. Salads and soft fruits, like strawberries and raspberries, are also a relatively pricey item you can easily grow at home.

Global Goals

In September 2017, an historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Green fingers' pledge, you are contributing in your own small way to the following SDG targets:

2.5: By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

15.5: Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species

How

How

You can grow your own food anywhere. Gardens are great, but if you don’t have one, window boxes, containers and allotments are just as good. Here are some top tips to get you started:

  1. Start simple (and seasonal): check out the Royal Horticultural Society’s month-to-month guide for when to sow, grow, and harvest your fruit and veg.
  2. Step by step guides: Check out the Love The Garden website for step-by-step guides on how to grow everything from carrots to tea.
  3. Pick the right spot: gardener and writer Sarah Raven suggests a sunny, sheltered spot, clear of any over-hanging trees or sun-blocking buildings.
  4. Your new best friend: as well as supplying you with seeds and equipment, your local garden centre is also a great place to pick up knowledge and advice from gardening experts.
  5. Space savvy: If you’re really short on space, try a large pot or window-box - you'll be amazed by how much you can grow. BBC has some great tips on growing veg on a window sill.
  6. Skill up: growing food takes seconds to learn and a lifetime to master. There are so many resources available to help you grow into a fully fledged master gardener - from online permaculture courses to an two-day intensive course in edible garden design!
  7. Regrow: really step up your waste-reduction game and try growing food from scraps!

Success Stories

485

Pledges
in total

485kg

CO2
pledged

I have grown in pots and tubs Broccoli these have been harvested and still going. Cabbages these are still growing and not yet ready. Tomatoes are full of green tomatoes at the moment waiting to ripen.

Lots still to learn but I've the biggest courgettes I've ever seen.

I grew some potatoes, had a good few harvests and made 4 dinners for 2 people with them. I've put some more root veg in for next year. Grew a pepper and a chilli pepper, not much but still going to try again next year.

Have taken on an allotment with my wife. a great form of exercise with added the added benefits of fresh Veg! Now planning a new allotment area at the bottom of the garden.

I grew tomatoes, chillies and cucumbers!

Winter growing has been a challenge. I have created all my own Christmas flower arrangements from foraging in the garden and hedges. Rocket doing well and rooting some shrubs in the house ready to plant in Spring.

Wrong season for growing from scratch but I joined a community allotments and have been volunteering weekly which is good socially and a good foundation for the future

Worked on planting herbs but have not had good success. Will try again with different plants. Will not give up.

My big allotment was under-cultivated & looking sorry for itself due to new job & little time to keep it up. I asked a friend who lives locally to share with me & now with the two of us working on it little & often, it is looking a lot better! I have a big patch of Kale, which I eat all the time, and managed to get lots of salad from it. It is looking much better and we have big plans for next year!!

Loads of veg in the ground, my potatoes are looking good, carrots, beetroot and spring onions all growing. Herbs in pots, and salad leaves etc. Can't wait to get eating it all!

It was a difficult time of year to start growing so I used pots. If they make it through winter I will plant them in the area that will now be my garden and add more. It's been fun.

I planted chilly seeds, and they have now grown into small plants with white chilly flowers. I also planted coriander and tulsi seeds, and they have grown into small plants.

I love growing my own -this just encouraged me to do more. It tastes so much better than shop bought, so it's a total win.

I have planted some leek seeds, which are now happily sprouting! Looking forward to a lovely harvest in a couple of months. And I'll do it again next year, maybe with a second planter.

I am now sharing an allotment with Kayleigh - tomatoes and corn are in, beans are on the way!

I am now growing broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, celeriac, peas, broad beans and a selection of herbs in my very small garden.

I already do nearly all the pledges you had listed so it was great that you inspired me to start getting active with growing and permaculture. Cheers!

Garlic & chives planted. Bit early yet for the seeds to go in. Need to fix the greenhouse down.