So we are just starting out our attempt at growing vegetables this year. Last Saturday was spent prepping the garden as it really was the first dry enough, not cold enough day this year. The soil looks good – a bit too much clay but lots of worms which bodes well.
We went to the garden centre to get our potatoes – we really want to get the crop going as soon as possible (early march). Growing our own vegetables is (we hope) exciting and rewarding and a skill we will get better at. Last year we just didn’t give it enough prep time and got very little harvest. This year we hope to do better. The only thing is growing your own does seem to involve a little plastic. It is another smaller greyer area.
Let’s take the potatoes as an example. They came in a plastic net ( a bit like you would get your satsumas or oranges from in a large supermarket). We couldn’t get ones that were early and not in this netting from our local garden centre place. We decided to buy for a few reason. Firstly, the ease and the fact it is nice to support local places rather than massive corporate establishments. Secondly, we figured that overall we would be reducing plastic along the production line by growing our own. Although, you can buy potatoes plastic free (and we do weekly – both baked and sweet potatoes) we figured that there is a high chance that at some point in either their production point or more likely transportation point plastic will have been used, thus growing our own overall reduces plastic.
Now we do have some vegetables (carrots) that are in seed form which obviously reduces the plastic over the potatoes. But in reality it felt unavoidable if we wanted to grow potatoes to not end up buying plastic (and yes it is the worse form – one time use only…unless saved for other things such as crafts). I read a lot of zero waste blogs and am constantly admiring them but I do wonder how other gardeners who are aiming to reduce plastic and become more closer to zero waste manage – are folks really growing everything from seed and living “regular” non-alternate lives? How plastic-free is your vegetable growing those doing it?
Our potatoes are now just chilling out in a mix of owned containers and egg boxes waiting to “chit” and be ready. Here is hoping that this is the right call and we will be reducing our plastic by having a healthy potato crop this year.