Exciting news! If you’re a friend of mine on Instagram or Twitter you may have noticed that I shared some very important posts earlier this week. I was lucky enough to be featured in FoodSavvy’s latest campaign on ‘lockdown lessons’ and they’ve even made the photo of my harvest haul into a cool graphic for their social accounts! I thought I would share the images on my blog too and tell you how and why I wanted to get involved.
I’m really chuffed to have been chosen for the ‘FoodSavvy Unlocked’ campaign, as I’m a regular user of the FoodSavvy website (especially for finding freezer-friendly recipes!) and I previously took part in their challenge last February to cut down my use of plastic packaging and reducing food waste.
The FoodSavvy Unlocked campaign is asking people to submit their lockdown stories, food hacks or top tips and the competition runs until the end of March. Here’s my ‘lockdown lesson’ and I hope it’ll inspire you to share your own story too:
In order to avoid the shops during the pandemic, we decided to grow our own vegetables and herbs in our garden in 2020. It was the first time that we had planted a veggie patch at our new home and we thought we could make the most of the outdoor space by growing salad, root veg, beans and squashes so that we didn’t have to rely on the supermarkets or home deliveries.
During the first week of lockdown 1 we built raised beds in the garden and planted seeds in recycled punnets and egg boxes on our windowsills. Having no idea of how well seeds would grow, we planted far more than we needed – but almost all the seeds worked and we had even more plants than we needed!
So we filled every available space in the garden with edibles, including rows of tomato plants on the decking, runner beans growing up the fence and salad leaves in old ceramic dishes on the patio table. It was amazing to be able to step out of my kitchen and pick everything I needed for our meal – we’ve never eaten better, or fresher!
In fact, we only needed to do two supermarket orders in April and September for store-cupboard ingredients and then, throughout the rest of the spring, summer, autumn and most of winter, we were completely self-sufficient. We had enough fruit and veg for all our meals and a small delivery of fresh bread, eggs and milk from the milkman was all we needed.
I made chutneys and froze portions of vegetables, soups and sauces so that we could continue being self-efficient throughout the winter. In fact, we’re still eating last year’s green beans, parsnips and carrots from the freezer and I’ve just popped open another jar of tomato relish! We carried on planting in the autumn so the shallots and garlic and coming on nicely.
We’ve planned this year’s crops and I’ve been sharing regular updates about my kitchen garden on my blog each month. The next lot of seeds are being sown as we speak! To sum up, I’m now hooked on growing my own produce and I can’t imagine ever not doing it in the future.
I was so excited when I spotted my photo on the FoodSavvy Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram – and it was on International Women’s Day, no less! I’m really proud and am so pleased that I could contribute my own ‘lockdown lesson’.
I hope you will share your own top tips and food hacks with them too so head over to Foodsavvy.org.uk if you want to get involved with their latest campaigns.