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Why grow your own…?

When you start to grow your own food you enter into a whole experience and a process.

You become connected to your food in a whole new way and it gains new meaning.

It becomes an opportunity to work with the earth, and with nature – in a world that spends much of its’ time working with computers…. It gets one outside into the sunshine and fresh air!

Growing your own food doesn’t have to just be about the superior nutritional quality of your produce, nor about self-sufficiency nor economics. It becomes the whole enjoyment of “Growing Food”. So whether it is or isn’t more economical to grow one’s own rather than buying, for me and my family, it’s worth it.

Growing your own also allows you to grow food seasonally. You therefore remain in harmony with your surroundings. In winter you find the plants that grow will often have, or offer, remedies to help with the winter ailments such as colds and coughs. Spring plants often have loads of tonic-like effects to give one a good healthy boost after winter, like nettles and all the young sprouting herbs and veggies.

The ethos of Vertical Veg has always been to follow the notion of Hippocrates who said: “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food.”

Herbs are natures’ way of providing us with both!

They are packed full of vitamins and minerals and available in so many varieties of tastes, textures, colours and forms.

For the next two weeks we will explore these forms, tastes and textures as well as the attributes of some commonly grown herbs.

What do we mean by Herbs?

These are edible or useful plants. They can be tiny plants or very large, shrubs or trees, soft wood or hard wood, perennial or annual, deciduous or evergreen. Very varied!

They come in many shapes and forms and a range of colours.

Often, they contain strong chemicals, which give them their characteristic taste and flavour. These phyto-chemicals are often the secondary metabolites produced by the plant, designed for their own protection – to make them unpalatable, to ward off insect attacks, or to lure pollinators. We are attracted to herbs mostly for these strong phyto-chemicals. They often make us feel good and so have been included into our diets not only to enhance the flavours of our food but also medicinally – to aid in digestion, assimilation, elimination, mental alertness to name just a few.

In this series of blogs we will start to discover the wonderful world of Herbs, their variety and their uses.

Disclaimer: Properties of herbs discussed and their uses in NO WAY replace the advice of a medical practitioner. Please consult a qualified practitioner before using herbs medicinally.