GROW YOUR OWN - REKHA
Just by saying the word ‘Gardening’ takes me to a place of calm and serenity. My allotment of 9 years started my journey in the Gardening World. It helped me realize and pursue a career in the horticulture sector, which really was only a dream 9 years ago. First studying for a Diploma in an RHS course; now working within a prestigious Garden in London as well as a freelance garden writer, you’ll see my regular Kitchen Garden column in Gardeners World Magazine. But the place where it all started, the allotment, is and will no doubt always be my sanctuary.
My personal grow your own journey unknowing at the time started as a child helping my mother in her kitchen garden, where I grew up, in Zambia. Having moved and now with family, the idea of growing my own came through again once children came along. Whilst they played in the garden I pottered around with growing vegetables in containers, teaching my children where food comes from. I wanted more space to grow and not fight over our small lawn space in order to grow. Looked into getting an allotment and the gardening journey began from there.
To grow your own does not mean you need lots of land, especially if this is still a young journey you might be embarking on. Remember I started small too. Begin the journey with 3 things to grow a vegetable, a herb and a soft fruit. This will give you courage to grow more in the following years to come.. You can also throw in a few flower varieties for a good measure. This companion planting (vegetables and flowers) help invite bees and other pollinators, whilst they move from flower to flower; they move onto vegetable flowers and help pollinate them successfully, leading to fruits.
Once in a while allow your hands to touch the soil with your bare hands. The feeling I get when I touch soil, keeps me grounded and brings me closer to what I love to do, gardening; and in some way respect is also paid back to mother nature thanking her for her help in growing my own food.