By Victoria Plum
I used to grow vegetables. In fact, one year we didn’t have to buy any veg at all for a whole season.
I don’t do it now. I trust other people to grow for me, so from May to December I buy from Eves Hill Veg Co (just in process of moving premises, but not far away, to Aylsham) and from Brett’s in Aylsham, who grow a large amount of produce themselves, and farm shops or the garden gate.
Time was that on the edge of every town or city there were market gardens from where produce would be taken to market regularly in the town or city.
Because houses are more profitable than cabbages, this land got swallowed up with housing for growing populations.
I strongly believe that those market garden skills need to be rekindled and land made available to growers to make locally grown, fresh vegetables readily available in towns and cities.
The Eves Hill community market garden offers growers’ traineeships, as does the Landworkers’ Alliance, which works “for a future where producers can work with dignity to earn a decent living, and everyone can access local, healthy and affordable food, fuel and fibre”.
Can there be anything more important than the availability of good fresh food?
It is astonishing how much produce can be grown on a small acreage. As all allottmenteers know, and you must notice as I do, the pockets of land that big farm machinery cannot access that are left fallow but could well be cultivated on a small scale by market gardeners.
Reepham & District Gardening Club has its regular meeting on 18 January but this will now be on Zoom.
The speaker will be the entertaining Nancy Stevens whose subject is “Spectacular, Surreal, Surprising” – gardening in space, underwater and world wars with some glorious plants and trees.
Check the gardening club website for more information. There is help available if you haven’t zoomed before – it’s very easy when you know how!
A reminder that summer will come again. Photo: Tina Sutton