Growing Your Own Herbs to Reduce Food Miles
We know that we can all do more to decrease our carbon footprint and reduce our reliance on single use plastics. Some of us are making some great steps with the products we buy and this has a powerful impact on the planet. One area that not everyone feels confident in is growing your own food.
So if you are not ready to be fully self-sufficient and live off the land, have you considered making a small windowsill herb garden? Nothing too ambitious but enough to provide you with fresh tasty herbs all year round.
A windowsill herb garden will allow you to choose the seeds you want to plant and using successional planting have a continuous supply. The alternative can still be British grown and may not have travelled that far to get to your nearest supermarket. However it will have a best before date due to the poor quality of the soil. Often leading to them looking like this after a few days.
A plastic bag, a plastic pot and low quality soil lead to a less than fresh, herby experience.
Importantly the pot you get with these supermarket herbs is not yet recyclable. It is also of such poor quality that you would struggle to reuse it for any new seedlings. The plastic bag is also not readily taken by all councils as part of their kerbside collection.
So what this means is that for the garnish of one meal you have create a lot of single use plastic waste.
You will find that the best solution becomes a windowsill herb garden. You do not need to have green fingers as one packet of seeds contains around 500-1000 seeds. You can grow simple herbs like parsley without any specialist propagators and all you need are some terracotta pots or why not try and make your own planter?
Fill the pots with soil to about an inch below the top. Take a pinch of the seeds and sprinkle them evenly on the soil. Cover with a quarter of an inch of soil ensuring that all the seeds are covered. Now water well. You can place in a warm spot in the house and keep moist but not water logged. Once some green shoots start to show, by about day 14, you can then transfer to the window and a sunny spot. Even in winter they will grow, a bit more slowly but surely enough. In direct sunshine you may need around 4 weeks to get the parsley to a really tasty stage. Once they are growing you can cut them as you need them.
If you buy seeds from the UK and re-purpose the pot from single use plastics then consider the impact you are having to reduce your food miles. Plus you have the bonus of truly nutritious and healthy fresh herbs daily. We find that growing our own herbs means we use far more in our cooking. The cost reduction alone is amazing and really surprising as sometimes growing your own can really add up.
You can buy kits for planters, but you can also buy seeds and make your windowsill specific to your tastes! Coriander, Dill, Basil, Mint and Parsley are all amongst our favourites. We do grow a lot of our own food but the easiest ones to get the kids involved with are herbs. We think it is because of the fast turnaround. So now we have children who want a garnish on everything!
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