One of the accounts I follow on Instagram posted a small poll this morning asking: ‘What’s the main reason you grow your own food?’ The options were:
- Save Money
- Save the Planet
- Eat Healthier
- Fresh Air and Exercise
I found it difficult to chose just one as I do it mainly for 3 out of the 4 reasons listed (actually saving money is the last on my list). But for me there was one very important reason missing from the options – sharing.
I’m sure I’m not alone in growing more produce than we can eat, although I am now learning how to preserve the excess to eat through the winter. From this year’s tomato harvest I’ve made enough tomato pasatta/sauce to last us eleven months as well as enough for my son to take home to last him six months. Plus I’ve made several jars of tomato jam, some of which will become Christmas presents for friends I know who love it. And still I’ve had enough tomatoes, and other produce to share with our neighbours, friends and the food bank.
The joy I get from being able to share our produce is immense especially with those that don’t grow their own. The look on their faces when they taste fresh, organically grown food is one to remember and the memories it invokes of previous times with comments like: ‘I’d forgotten how wonderful tomatoes tasted, they’re so sweet. It takes me back to when I was little and we grew them’. Or I get sent photos of the meals they’ve cooked with our veg and how wonderful it was to eat.
Quite a few friends, having tasted our veg, have been tempted to start growing their own even if it’s only micro greens or a few tomato plants. I’ve been sent regular photos of how their plants are doing, been asked for advice and seen the excitement and pride they experience when they pick their first harvest.
I’m currently growing a lot of lemon and apple trees from pips out of the fruit we have bought and already had a few requests for them as Christmas presents (we’ve enough growing to have our own lemon grove and apple orchard!).
The ‘feel good’ factor I get from planting the seeds to giving the plants and/or produce away is priceless. Also if it means it starts someone else on their path to experiencing the same joy as me then even better! I don’t only grow food, I grow a feeling of happiness and joy.
If you don’t already share a bit of your produce then give it a go and you’ll see what I mean!