Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

What Crisis? as Flooding and Snow Abroad; as Flooding and Snow Abroad Sees Supermarkets Ration Veg, Why Not Start Growing Our Own?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

What Crisis? as Flooding and Snow Abroad; as Flooding and Snow Abroad Sees Supermarkets Ration Veg, Why Not Start Growing Our Own?

Article excerpt

Byline: YOUR GARDEN With Diarmuid Gavin

LETTUCE THIS is a quick-growing crop and can be sown outdoors from March. Stocks of iceberg lettuce are under pressure and this is a good compact variety to grow in small spaces. Try 'Webbs Wonderful' which is a sweet-tasting, slow-to-bolt lettuce. The cut-and-comeagain loose-leaf varieties are also a good option - just harvest leaves as you require. Snails and slugs will be your main problem, so use your full arsenal to protect the crop - but remember, you're eating this product, so stay away from chemical solutions.

UYING veg from your local supermarket might be convenient, but nothing beats the taste of homegrown.

BAnd recent headlines about vegetable shortages in the shops will be a good incentive for most of us to devote some of our garden space to growing our own.

Bad weather, including snow and floods in Spain and Italy, has led to decreased yields of certain imported veg, causing some supermarkets to ration how much you can buy.

Empty the supermarket Some of the crops in short supply are lettuce, courgettes, broccoli and tomatoes.

And March is a good time for gardeners to step up and be self-sufficient. These are all crops that can be grown in a small plot without much difficulty, even for the novice gardener.

The food we buy in our supermarkets is unrealistically cheap. It's often the growers who suffer a loss and find it hard to make a living.

This won't last - our financial wizards tell us that in the future, farmers and their produce will be valued, and fair prices will be sought for what we eat.

So, in anticipation of those days, let's start growing our own. It's immensely satisfying, financial rewarding and a healthy enterprise. You can even grow varieties that aren't always available in supermarkets.

So here's my easy guide to growing these currently scarce veg. …

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