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After a few initial costs organic will save you thousands over the years if administered correctly. Websites can provide you with all the information and equipment you need to create your own sustainable eco-hub of tasty, healthy food.
To really utilise your garden to the optimal degree, plan ahead. Create a schedule of when things need to be planted, cultivated and purchased, and you will soon save on wastage and petrol costs alone.
Imagine picking an apple from a tree in your garden, free from any fertilisers and supermarket packaging. With due diligence it can happen, you can grow pears, blackberries, rhubarb and much more. There will be no need for the supermarket, and if they’re baked into pies or crumble they could last for months.
Growing vegetables and herbs
It’s estimated that buying organic produce at farmers’ markets and health food stores can cost up to 50% more than the average supermarket. So it makes sense to pick vegetables which you like and feel comfortable growing, and then harvest them a few months down the line. Devote a pot to a few popular herbs and you’ve virtually got a meal already.
Preserving your produce
Too much food is grown and then discarded, so aim to store produce in environmentally friendly ways. Freezing will preserve much of the flavour and goodness, as strongertogether.coop says: “When it comes to nutritious preserved foods, freezing is second only to fresh foods. While freezing can affect the texture of some foods, most vegetables, fruits, meats, soups, and even herbs can easily be frozen in airtight containers for use all year long.” But don’t rule out traditional methods such as drying, pickling, canning and even cellaring.
Reusing items for practical use
Why buy a pot when a milk carton sliced in half will do just as well? Why buy a rockery when broken up pots or rubble will do just as well? Old sinks, pallets, wood and chicken wire can all be used in and around the garden. Freshorganicgardening says: “Many gardeners reuse and recycle old or discarded items for their gardens. This practice not only helps lower the cost of gardening, it also ensures that many discarded items are not simply dumped and buried in waste sites where they will potentially stay for countless years before finally breaking down.”
Put that hose away – a water butt can save you hundreds of pounds over the space of a few years. A simple connector can be hooked to a downpipe, and many butts have a simple tap at the bottom. If you are using a watering can do it early or late in the day to stop rapid evaporation in the mid-day sun. And give it to the roots where it is needed, rather than pouring it over the leaves.
Mulch is a layer of organic material placed on the surface of soil which prevents it from drying out, and can be made from grass, shells, bark, straw and many other matter. Use it in conjunction with rainwater for a double organic boost. It also stops weeds from growing effectively.
The virtue of greenhouses
Potentially costly, but if chosen wisely a greenhouse will be beneficial for years to come. Obviously avoid synthetic materials and go for authentic cedar wood, which is resistant to rot.
Saving on bills
If you are going organic, using lawnmowers, strimmers and other electric items should be frowned upon – and your power suppliers will soon be frowning as well as your bills go down. Get cutting with a pair of shears and secateurs and your arms will enjoy the workout.
Last but not least, chickens are a valuable source of protein – and fabulous breakfasts and omelettes – through their eggs. Selling the eggs will eventually pay for the initial outlay of a coop.