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Are you growing your own yet?

{Guest Post} Natasha from Swap Shuffle Share

Are you growing

There is something ridiculously satisfying about cooking something that you have grown your self. Have you tried it? Are you on board with the “kitchen garden” movement yet?

Well, if not, here’s a few reasons to give it a go.

1. Harvest what you want, when you want

Fresh cut herbs are one item that I try to avoid purchasing when I’m shopping. My reasoning is that they are expensive, only last a short time, and part of the purchase usually goes to waste. The most common herbs (think parsley, mint, rosemary, oregano, and thyme) are easy to grow and you can choose to harvest to meet your needs most of the year round. When you have an abundance, they are easy to store (some are easily dried, or frozen) to get you through the slower growing season. If you aren’t ready to make the move to growing fruit and vegetables, herbs are a great start. A pot or two planted up with seed or seedlings are all you need to get started.

2. Expand your cooking repertoire

There is nothing like being forced to be creative when you have a glut of one item in the garden, Lemons, apples, silverbeet, zucchinis and tomatoes all come to mind. Once all of your usual recipes are exhausted, it’s time to learn other ways to cook/preserve/store your harvest for a later date.

3. A yellow tomato, a round zucchini

There are some fruit and vegetables that aren’t readily available as they don’t meet “commercial standards”. That usually means that they are too difficult to transport and store. This year I am growing 8 different tomato varieties – most are heirloom varieties that aren’t available to buy apart fro a possible rare sighting at a farmers market or two. How great is it to grow something that money can’t buy!

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4. Get to know your neighbours

Connecting with your local growing community is a great way to learn more about food gardening, exchange ideas and produce, and even swap seeds and plants. I have a local food swap that I attend where I know I can take excess produce and seedlings and come home with a bounty or items to cook or plant. Not everyone has space for a fruit orchard, but you might have space to raise seedlings and trade them for freshly harvested produce. Or take produce home to make preserves and jams to bring to the next swap. It’s all about sharing what we already have, and doing what we can with the time and space that we have.

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If you are growing your own food already, or if you are thinking about getting started, you can pop over to Swap Shuffle Share website and connect with food gardeners across Australia, or via Facebook or Twitter

Natasha Kuperman is one of the online friends I have made since I commenced blogging. We have never met face to face but have communicated many times via email. I admire her philosophy, and her initiative to create such a community driven resource of huge value.  I commenced following Swap Shuffle Share on Facebook prior to the site’s release when I read an article about the concept she had devised. When the site launched I joined and have been participating for a year.  It is a fabulous wealth of information, resources and members who range from experts to beginners. Everyone is willing to provide input to questions, issues, information, or resource sharing that you may find a need for in your pursuit of growing food for your table. If you are not a member I encourage you to check it out, and start growing your own!
 
Natasha Kuperman / Founder

Swap Shuffle Share

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