During World War II the government of the day organised a “Dig for Victory” campaign to encourage as many householders as possible to grow their own produce for the table. Food was short so people rose to the challenge. They grew many of the vegetables and fruit the family ate in the year, in their own back gardens. The more enterprising kept a few chickens and even a pig, using up kitchen leftovers. The campaign was one of the most successful of the war on the home front. All this was done without the benefit of bags of artificial fertiliser, spray chemicals, additives and drugs. The campaign kept everyone fed and there was a major bonus. The nation was eating healthily and personal health during the war years was surprisingly high, in spite of food shortages. So why are we buying all our food today when we really can’t be certain how it was produced and where it came from? It’s easy to grow some of it at home.
The Benefits of Home Grown Vegetables
In the Trial Kitchen Garden, every effort will be made to ensure we produce healthy crops. This is more likely to be achieved through careful planning using crop rotation, good cultivation methods, diversity and integration of vegetables, herbs and flowers and natural control of pests and diseases. The best of our crops will be incorporated into our clients’ kitchen garden designs having first discussed priorities and preferences, and having assessed what is possible to grow in each unique garden environment.
We will be growing a wide range of species and varieties, carefully selected for a number of properties:
The freshness and taste of freshly picked vegetables straight from your garden is an entirely different experience from that available in the shops. Homegrown vegetables not only deliver a better taste and greater vitality but also reconnect us with seasonal eating. At the The Trial Kitchen Garden, we have selected many varieties for their distinctive flavour.
Many of the varieties grown will be selected for their particular nutritional properties. Certain vegetables are known for their rich mineral content, others for their antioxidants. Growing nutritious food requires a better understanding of soil ecology and whilst organic methods will be adopted at all times, one of the aims for the trial site is to compare how subtle differences in those methods may lead to nutritional variations within crops.
Home grown vegetables are not just about healthy food. They can also deliver a beautifully vibrant ornamental appeal. They can look wonderful in a border amongst shrubs and flowers and provide a magnet for the beneficial wildlife. Many of the vegetable and herb varieties on offer in The Trial Garden will be chosen for their particular blooms. What is on offer in our supermarkets is often limited. We choose varieties for their more unusual and fun appearance that will not only enhance the look of the garden but also appeal to the kids, such as yellow courgettes and climbing mini pumpkins.
You may want a succession of salad leaves throughout much of the year – we can furnish your kitchen garden with a wide variety of salad crops that can be ready for the plate in as little as 5 weeks, with lots of pickings from one plant. Under the right conditions, salad crops are easily grown and provide enormous savings on the limited salad bags available in the shops.
We will be including many older and more unusual varieties, vegetables and salads that are difficult to access in the shops. We will also be growing some ‘heirloom’ varieties that are no longer available for sale. Due to EU regulations since the 1970s, Britain’s traditional vegetable varieties have been severely threatened and many have been lost. We are a member of HDRA and support the valuable work of the Heritage Seed Library (HSL) in conserving traditional varieties will be growing a selection of rare seed for the library each year (Heritage Seed Library).
Whether your garden is large or small, whether you wish to grow food in pots, planters, in your own kitchen garden or ornamental borders – we aim to provide a wide variety of vegetables to suit every taste. We will grow what you want to eat.