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Grow and Preserve Your Own says D T Brown to make your food secure
12:00am Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
Against a backdrop of a poor spring and summer resulting in reduced commercial harvests, attendant price rises of fresh produce in shops and growing unease about the issue of global food security, there has never been a better time for households to produce at least some of their own food, acccording to D. T. Brown’s Tim Jeffries. And the gluts which gardeners often have can usually be frozen, bottled or otherwise preserved for future use, saving families money and giving them the satisfaction of delicious, home-grown food all year round. Several crops, such as potatoes, onions, squashes and carrots can be dry-stored in sacks, sand or in the open.
“Runner and French beans are the classic vegetables for freezing”, says Tim. “Mine last from one’s harvest to the next. Courgettes make a lovely soup, which we freeze, while any spare tomatoes are blitzed into passata and frozen ready for winter pasta dishes. Any still green form the basis of a lovely chutney. Small beetroots, red cabbage and shallots are all pickled. And is there a jam to beat home-made blackberry and apple?”
Tim is also keen for gardeners to extend the cropping season for quick-growing salad leaves. September sowings, especially if made in an unheated greenhouse, will give good pickings in October and November, while some may even last through the winter. “With a little thought, planning and experimentation with sowing times, it is possible to have fresh salad crops for much longer than we once imagined”, says Tim.
Last year (2011) Tim harvested a varied crop of summer vegetables worth £262.54 at supermarket prices from a plot just 30ft long by 9ft wide. He grew 16 different varieties from the D. T. Brown catalogue, the seed cost of which was £31.46. “Growing vegetables at home really does make sound economic sense”, commented Tim.
For a catalogue www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk
Look out for the offers in Smallholder Magazine on fruit bushes and veg seed every single month.