Wednesday, 23 August 2017

An Unpopular Viewpoint

At this time of the year I feel more like an odd one out than usual (other than that winter festival that people pretend to enjoy so much). I don't grow any of our food. 

There are quite a few reasons for this, the main one being that I just don't enjoy doing it, it's a lot of effort for not that much of a payoff. As we'd be growing such a small amount of stuff it would, in my view, been too resource intensive - it takes a lot of water to really clean something like a homegrown lettuce, not to mention the time, the forward planning and the fending off wildlife. I love the idea of it, but the reality is just not fun for me. 

One of the other reasons is the excess and potential for waste, if things don't work out I've wasted time, effort, money and space for nothing, and if they do work out there's an over abundance of food. That would be great if we ate plenty of jams, chutney, cakes, crumbles and pickles, or drank lots of flavoured vodka but it's not something that we would make use of here, or if we would it would all be in addition to our usual way of eating and so in my view is wasteful. And giving gifts like that would not be well received in my circles, it's the reason I don't generally give away anything I've sewn either.

I know what all the growers are thinking - it's the flavour. This is one of those subjects where neither side will every change their view, a frozen pea or a fresh pea makes no difference at all to me having eaten plenty of both, but I know it's a minority view. The main difference seems to be the language people use to describe the process of popping an oh-so deliciously sweet pea straight from the sun kissed pod into my mouth and feeling the fresh flavour burst all over my tastebuds, that kind of thing. 

Oh well, each to their own - another phrase that makes me want to throw my laptop through the window while I'm on a roll. Clearly I'm an intolerant person.

I surely can't be the only one who just doesn't feel the joy of growing your own.

29 comments:

  1. We do grow our own - but then we have a fairly decent sized garden, we eat a lot of veg and fruit, husband enjoys doing it and it saves us a lot of money. We do get gluts of things, but exchange produce with neighbours who grow different things. We also give as gifts some of the chutneys, jams, cakes etc I make. If it doesn't work for you, well that's your decision, 'each to their own'!! (lol).

    PS I can't stand that winter festival either, or the meaningless Halloween - just a big commercial thing for grabbing your money (if you're inclined to spend it). But again, each to their own!

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    1. LOL!

      I think scale is a very important aspect of it for me, a larger space might turn things more into my part time job rather than something I don't take all that seriously, iykwim.

      You are so right about Hallowe'en, I really dislike the commercial side of that. My eldest niece is terrified by the whole thing and my SIL has posters on the front door requesting that trick or treaters don't call. It's horrible for the wee lass.

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    2. I HAAAAAAAAAAAAATE Halloween and have done since I was tiny- I am like your niece!

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  2. My husband was completely uninterested in my growing efforts, so when he announced he was going to take on an allotment I wondered what had come over him! For us it's a hobby, and a form of exercise,but it's mainly down to feeding ourselves and being able to eat things in abundance that we wouldn't be able to if we had to pay shop prices ( strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, gooseberries, tomatoes and courgettes spring to mind) particularly as we grow organically. In my experience, homegrown does taste different, but I put that down to freshness, as it goes from plot to plate very quickly. I actually prefer cooked frozen peas to cooked fresh ones, but do love them straight from the pod while working on the plot.
    I always feel like I'm the odd one out because I have little to no interest in animals/pets!

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    1. That's so interesting that he jumped in at allotment level. I think having a space such as an allotment might make a change for me, although it would be far more work, I think I'd also take it more seriously.

      Thanks for sharing the thing that makes you the odd one out :)

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  3. Agreed. Ihave very little space/time/desire to grow our own. I tried it when we were younger and in a different house. We worked out that our tomatoes has cost anout 50p each and we gave most of them away! I just accept that it's not something I want to do and buy local/British food in season. Catriona

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    1. Yes! I think that's about the price per unit of the food we've grown too!

      We do buy a few things from overseas, mainly bananas and avocados, but I do take advantage of things when they're in season and save a bit of money that way.

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  4. Nothing wrong with that we are all different, I am slowly moving away from it, I enjoy making the garden look pretty with flowers, I can take it or leave it.

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    1. I am moving towards having a nice looking garden, we want to have lot of insects and birds here so I wouldn't want to be covering things in net and worrying about caterpillars!

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  5. I have never felt the call to grown my own - my Grandparents do and love it, but I'm just not interested.

    https://lizziedailyblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. My parents to it too, they get a lot from it, but it's just not really me. Plus I end up with a fair bit of their excess too.

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  6. I am a VERY lazy gardener. This summer through the dry spells our garden was only watered once a week, dump the hose into the bed and let the water out of the water butt, make a cup of tea. I grow mainly because I grew up with it, but I only grow things that are easy and that I hate paying for at the supermarket. Lettuce is so expensive, as are green beans and cucumbers. I dont grow carrots, onions or potatoes. they take up too much ground, time and water. Maybe in another house if we had the land. I also grow sprouts, as in seeds and beans in the winter when nothing will grow outside. We had jam jars to begin with with j cloths and rubber bands. Now we have specialist jars I bought on amazon that makes it less of a faff. Again because a box or bag of alfalfa in the shops is loads of money. I am too tight fisted to pay it.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog.

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    1. I have a sprouter too, I tend to stick to single types as I've never been able to sprout those mixed packs without them going mouldy, who knows what's going wrong there.

      I think part of the reason I don't like it is that I grew up with it, my parents have always grown things, I think maybe it reminds me of many boring Sunday afternoons picking radishes!

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    2. ha ha, the radishes dont always make it to the house! Peas certainly dont!

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    3. Sometimes the temptation is just too great!

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  7. I like growing my own, but I agree to some degree with all the reasons why you don't do it. There can be a lot of waste and people often don't appreciate home made gifts nor excess grown produce and I don't blame them for that. They don't know what you've used on them. Neither am I an advocate that home grown tastes better. It doesn't necessarily. What I do like though, is having my own little space to go to at the allotment, where I can get away from it all and just do something physical, that I don't have to think too much about and if it saves me a little money into the bargain, that's fine too.

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    1. Thanks. I can see why the allotment is a great little escape to get away from it all, that aspect does make sense to me.

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  8. I don't think you should even attempt to justify why you don't grow your own - if you don't you don't - just say it - everyone has their reasons for doing and not doing. I like you blog just the way it is whether or not you grow your own, make your own or just have everything sent round from Harrods!
    I know what you mean about reading lots of homemade blogs and we would be the same here with too much produce as we are not big jam and pickle eaters. I have an over productive apple tree in Scotland and can't give my apples away! This year encouraged by the same blogs you probably read I did grow my own one courgette plant in a pot as they are dead easy - take no looking after - so if you really feel left out just try one courgette for the satisfaction! I can feel the same way as you when everyone finds bargains in charity shops as I rarely venture in to them - not for any particular reason other than I seemed to get out of the habit of buying second hand when I returned to work - there my secrets out!

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    1. Thanks.

      I don't feel as though I was justifying myself, but I along with the many, many blogs at this time talking about the joy of growing your own I haven't seen any taking the other viewpoint. Not that this is a frugal blog, but I think that lots of frugal blogs fall into the same mould, I enjoy seeing when people live a little differently, and sometimes I think "come on, I can't be the only one...".

      I could happily never eat another courgette in my entire life - I think I was traumatised by eating "courgette surprise" every night during my childhood summers!

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  9. Hallo. I haven't commented before but this post made me think. As a frugal minded, cook from scratch, 'use natures bounty' type of person I have always grown my own veg. But I've often wondered - why? Its almost a guilty secret to question the validity of all that hoeing, weeding, pest removal, inevitable failures not to mention the quilt of throwing gluts of produce on the compost heap because no one wants it!
    This year I just concentrated on beans, new potatos and tomatoes. Frankly this was enough. its cheaper to buy other stuff in our local market. I felt free from the tyranny of 'home grown' plus finding reluctant family members to water the veg plot because I fancy a weekend away!
    Thanks for a thought provoking post.

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    1. Hello, thanks for taking the time to leave such an interesting comment.

      You are so right, there are many things that we do and although we wonder why it seems odd to question it. Pleased to hear you've found a balance you're happy with this year.

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  10. ooops - chose a bad example there then with the Courgette - maybe reading the previous comments and your answers it is possible you might be telling us you have signed up for an allotment next year and just jump in at the deep end LOL but sounds also like your parents can supply you well so I would think why bother too if you are not in to it and as you can see you are not the only one.
    We used to have an allotment sized garden until we moved and this garden is too small and the one in Scotland not practical because of bunnies and watering problems. I do miss growing my own and especially when other bloggers have wonderful photos of their yields - so maybe that is why I have my one Courgette in the pot this year to satisfy a need - I always found it quite relaxing but then I like ironing for the same reason which my friends find very strange!
    Guess what we are having for tea tonight!

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    1. Knowing me I would far more likely take up an allotment than grow something else at home.

      Enjoy your courgette surprise!

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  11. I totally agree with you on this. People get over-attached to certain habits and activities (growing things, pets, ...), and only when they get older and feel the need to simplify their life (because of cluttering, overweight, arthritis..) only then do they realize the waste of time, money, and energy they have invested in the wrong directions.

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    1. Thank you for that comment. You're right, we fall into doing things sometimes for years almost for the sake of it, rather than it being a conscious decision and it can take a lot to make a change.

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  12. Its nice to read that some-one has no interest in growing there own, we do grow as its a lifestyle choice for us, I do know many people who dont and sell surplus to some of them, if we all grew our own the shops wouldnt sell seasonal fruit and veg any more and it would make imports or those things we cant grow so expensive.

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    1. Hi Dawn, nice to see you. On a scale like yours, with a polytunnel etc. it makes total sense, and you are able to grow exciting things! You make a good point about the knock on effect of everyone growing their own on a larger scale.

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  13. This is an interesting post and has prompted some great discussion! It's funny because I LOVE the idea of growing my own and eating it and when I first start planting, I am super excited. BUT, I soon get rather bored and busy with the whole dilligent watering and weeding and inevitably, out of what I have grown over the last 3 years, there has only been one main success story. The first year- runner beans (170), the second- tomatoes (200+) and this year- well, I haven't grown anything as such because I was waiting for a house move- but the strawberries did well by themselves in their pots! This year, we've had SOOOOOOOOO many apples and pears on the trees in our garden and I find myself just not eating them! I'm like that with fruit though! I don't really like jams either or sloe gins or anything but my Mum is ace as a gardener- she has really useful produce like MASSIVE Butternut squashes and courgettes- I LONG to grow good courgettes but they have failed the 2 years I tried them!
    P.S. I genuinely do love Christmas- I think it is working in a Primary School and all the lovely things at church that make me love it. The reality of Christmas day itself at home is nice though inevitably pressies etc make me a bit scared about where I am going to put everything!

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    1. My thing with Christmas is that I'm not a religious person so it doesn't really have much meaning to me. Having said that, I do enjoy the religious aspect of it when I come into contact with it - sometimes I'll be invited along to a service or something.

      The thing I can't stand in Christmas Day itself, it's stress for the sake of stress in my experience. I can't stand forced jollity and both our families seem intent on making everyone seem to be happy even if they're not really. And the stuff, there's way too much stuff, I've had the "please don't buy me any gifts" conversation a hundred times and yet I end up with gifts. I find that disrespectful of my wishes, everyone else sees it as showing their affection - there is no compromise here!

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