Eco Notes July

July 2023

The Joys of Growing Vegetables

Not so long ago, we used to grow many of our own vegetables in Ireland – however, owing to cut price offers for “cheaper” overseas food in supermarkets, most of the commercial growers here have gone out of business. Currently, Ireland imports a huge amount of fruit and vegetables from Spain, but a long-term drought, water shortages and soaring temperatures there are making much of the land inhospitable. This will almost inevitably result in food shortages in Ireland, similar to that experienced in the spring, when tomatoes, for example, became temporarily unavailable. It would seem logical for Ireland to encourage commercial growers to return to production and for them to be paid a fair price for that produce. Meantime, the Irish populace at large could copy their forebears and start growing their own fruit and vegetables again. Not so long ago, most households had their own potato and cabbage plot. Clearly that is not possible for urban dwellers today, but virtually everyone could grow something, even on a windowsill, patio or in a small back garden. The joy of experiencing the enhanced flavour of freshly picked, home-grown produce might even encourage some folk to grow more. The more time you invest, the more you gain. There is a need to have more allotments and community gardens in urban areas. At a time when food prices are causing hardship for many, growing even a small amount of one’s own food would help alleviate this burden. Grandparents can pass on their gardening knowledge to children, who often love sowing seeds and getting mucky in gardens – and they certainly enjoy the produce, especially if fruits such as strawberries are grown! Why not give it a try?