Grow Your Own

As it is National Gardening week I have decided to do a post about growing your own fruit and vegetables.

I am trying to grow my own spinach and kale as we get through a lot of both with the children and Toby the Tortoise. This got me thinking about my grandparents who are 80 and 79. They have grown their own vegetables for years, in fact my Pops told me a story recently. Him and his 3 brothers would work the allotment to supply his mother with the weekly vegetables. They worked in rotation, digging and picking the fresh goods to feed the family of 7. He said that he started doing this when he was just 8, he was still growing and tending to his own vegatables untill last year when he was 79. That’s over 70 years of hard but rewarding self sustainability!

My Grandma and Pops both are in tip top condition, neither take any medication at all unless it’s cough mixture for the very rare cold.

As they are both very healthy and active I thought it would be intersting to ask them about their diet to see if I could benefit from any of their eating habits.

So Grandma can you tell me what a usual days food would be for you and Pops?

7am we get up and have a cup of tea

8am brekfast which would be porridge made on the hob with chia seeds and little honey or scrambled or poached eggs on toast (no butter) grilled tomatoes on the side.

12.30 We will have lunch which is usually homemade soup, sandwich or bread and cheese

5.30 We will have our main meal and pudding.

Do you have the same meals every week?

No we decide daily what we are going to have depending on what’s in the fridge/ freezer and what mood we are in. We try not to have the same meals within a 2 week period so we don’t get bored.

What vegetables would I find in your cupboard?

Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, runner beans, cauliflower, broccoli,  swede, onions, turnips, asparagus potatoes. We try and buy things in season as they taste so much better. And some of the above we still have frozen in our deep freeze from when we were still growing our vegatables.

Do you eat vegetables every day?

Oh yes. Now it’s getting warmer I love my salads.

How often do you eat pudding after your dinner?

Everyday. We have replaced our vegetable patch with a fruit patch as it’s easier for Pops to keep on top off. We have raspberrys, logenberrys, desert gooseberrys, green gooseberrys, red currents, white currents, and rhubarb. I will stew an apple or 2 as a base and then add some berries and we’ll have that with alpro yogurt or custard a few nights a week. Pops also loves tapioca rice pudding.

Do you eat meat everyday?

We have 2 meat free days a week.

What are your favourite 2 meals.

Our favorite meat free meal is boiled potatoes with freshly bubbling cauliflower cheese and a dollop of pickle.

Our favorite meat meal is thick cut ham from the butchers with boiled new potatoes, broad beans and fresh parsley sauce.

Do you think your diet has had an effect on keeping you young?

Absolutly I think we eat a very varied diet that is all cooked from scratch this then has less additives in and I think this has a huge effect on people’s health and well being. Having said that I understand that it is hard for woman who have to work these days to provide healthy meals for the family, but it can be done and not too costly either just a little bit of planning. Think of the 5 Ps

Perfect planning prevents pathetic performance

 Lastly Do you have any wise words of wisdom for us?

Always Smile!

Smile, she said!

I think as a country we are starting to go back to our roots so to speak, more and more of us are learning to embrace our inner gardener and encourage our children to grow new things and try out new tastes. Lets all do our bit to help grow.

Remember its National Gardening week so get those hands dirty!