We’ve just finished another year of our fantastic innocent and GIY Sow & Grow. It was another great year with over 20,000 kids around Ireland growing their own in their classrooms. You can find out more about the winners here.
Michael Kelly of GIY wants to get the nation growing their own. It’s good for you and good for the planet so give it a go. Here are Michael’s top tips for getting started:
- Start Small. If you’re anything like us, when you make a decision to grow your own food you will probably want to grow ALL your own food. Fight that temptation. No matter how fired up you are, it’s never a good idea to dig up your entire garden. Our advice to people starting off on their growing journey can be summed up in these two words: start small!
- Start Easy. Think carefully about WHAT you're going to grow. Some vegetables are very easy to grow (like onions for example) while others require regular attention (take a bow, tomatoes). Some veg take a long time to grow (e.g. peppers), while others are very quick growing (e.g. salad leaves, rocket, radish etc). Think about how much space and time you have. In a space-constrained garden or apartment balcony you probably won’t want to be growing globe artichokes (big plant, little food). Focus instead on things that give a high return for a small amount of space, like salad leaves or herbs. What do you like to eat? It sounds obvious but seriously, if you hate celery, you probably won't love it any more when it's home-grown.
- Start Growing. The most important thing is to just get started. Do it this weekend. Don't worry if you make mistakes. Food growing is a journey, as well as a destination. Share the journey with other GIYers, and have fun. Stick your hands in the soil. Smile.
Get more GIY joy at www.giyinternational.org.