Local Is Best!

Have you noticed that trends and fashions have a habit of coming full circle?

When I was a child, my uncle had a patch of land and a greenhouse where he grew potatoes, peas, tomatoes, carrots and anything else that took his fancy. I can still remember sneaking in to steal a few peapods – and the telling off I got if I was caught!

For many years now we have taken full advantage of the wide array of imported fruit and veg in our supermarkets. I don’t know about you, but I take a winter supply of strawberries totally for granted, and I’ve been known to get very bad-tempered if there are no mangoes on the shelves when I fancy one!

But environmentalists are urging us to consider the impact these imported items are having on the planet – not to mention that the distance they have to travel and the time it takes means that they are nowhere near as fresh as local produce.

Living in the great berry-growing district of Angus, I admit it does make me wonder sometimes why the shelves in my local supermarket are full of rasps and strawberries from Kent!

Experts are encouraging us to grow our own where possible, and patio pots for the likes of potatoes and tomatoes makes this achievable for everyone, whether you have a garden or not. Lots of Farmer’s Markets are springing up all over the country, too, which means we can all support our local producers and benefit from the freshest fruit and veg available.

If this is something that interests you, the debate continues in next week’s “Friend” (ID March 18, on sale March 15) on our Talking Point page. And Alexandra Campbell is on hand with some great advice on how to grow your own fruit and veg successfully.

basket with vegetables such as kohlrabi,onion,beans, fruit like apples and pears, on wooden board oudoors in garden, decorated with blooming basil and rose hips

Judey Struth