Growing at home in a small space – setting my goals for the year

This the first post in my “participant diary” for the Tayport Community Growing Space project. Today, I thought I’d tell you a little about how I got involved in the project and set my own growing goals for the year.

I have always been interested in environmental matters and tried to understand human impact on the planet, and minimise my own ‘environmental footprint’ here and there. A few years ago I heard about Fife Diet – “a consumer network of people passionate about local food”. Similarly to our Tayport project, it was funded by CCF to encourage participants to eat locally, from Fife, therefore cutting back on carbon emissions from food transport. Driven by curiosity about sources of local food and seduced by their wonderful seasonal recipe booklets with immaculate graphic design, I joined and remained a member until the project morphed into a number of new initiatives late last year (Common Good Food is one of them). Fife diet recipes are still avaliable here.

Although Fife Diet did inspire me to look for more local food, it was altogether a rather remote affair. But, last year I joined the fab group of people at PLANT and things got a bit more serious…and much more hands on. Since, we have managed to get our own pot of CCF money to help Tayport grow more of its own food. Yay!

I help with running of the project as a volunteer but I also wanted to contribute to the project’s goals as a grow-at-home participant (details of this are still getting worked out at the time of writing and updates will appear here). I wanted to do this in the limited space I have available myself (see my grower profile for pics). I thought it would be a useful exercise, as so many of us at Tayport will not have access to a real garden, even when the Tayport Community Gardens’ plots become available for individuals and groups.

I have some experience in growing food but have heaps to learn so I hope I can benefit from participating in the project on this front too. Particularly from the training and advice provided by the project’s growing co-ordinators, once they come on board, but also from other Tayport growers. This may help once I eventually get a bigger growing space of my own;)

My goals for the duration of the project are:

  • Grow some vegetables
  • Grow more herbs and pollinator-friendly plants
  • Feed and protect my plants from pests and diseases with low carbon ‘solutions’
  • Try some new ways of preserving local, seasonal food (perhaps with inspiration from Cathy;))
  • Try doing all this cheaply and by upcycling/reusing
  • I am also hoping to learn a little more about carbon food print (PDF) – it seems like a very complex creature indeed! (I am still a scientist at heart and you will have to forgive me an occasional foray into the land of facts and figures;)

I will share the resources I find, my experiences and thoughts between now and April 2016, aiming at 1-2 posts a month. Please – help me out with any advice, comments or constructive criticism;) And wish me good luck!

In my next post I will tell you a little bit about my tatties.

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