One of the things I love the most about growing almost all of our own vegetables is that we are really eating what is in season and working our meals around the healthy food we have to hand. Though before we moved in here we had tried to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables most of the time, here I am being far more disciplined about eating what is ready to harvest at the time. It is far easier to be disciplined here than it is doing a shop at a supermarket. I am learning a lot about how out of tune many people are with the food that they eat throughout the year.
Gluts are exciting, but I have so far avoided having far too much of any one thing. I have been planting successionally and we are finding so far that we have enough without having massive excess. There are seven of us living here and we do have quite a few guests here from time to time and so any surplus is usually used up fairly quickly. As time goes on and we experience more seasons here, I hope to gradually get us to a place where we have enough and more of everything and we can really stock up the freezer for future insurance against disasters and bad weather. Already, I have learned a lot about what we all eat and do not eat, what I need to plant more of (radishes, perhaps, and at the moment we could do with more potatoes, though most are not yet ready to be harvested). I do not think I have planted too much of anything at the moment, though as the summer goes on perhaps that will change. We’ll have to wait and see.
The other thing I have noticed about eating what we grow is that I am really enjoying the meditative time taken to harvest and prepare all the food for the meals I make. Though it takes time, I find that time relaxing and it is also when I get the chance to observe and reflect on the growing spaces. I would far, far rather spend half an hour picking or shelling peas or podding beans than plodding around the shops!
If only more people grew at least some of their own food, there would be less of the disconnect that we so often see between food production and what and how people are cooking. We are very lucky here to have the space we do, but most people would be able to do at least a little growing on windowsills or in containers. It costs less than you might imagine to get started, requires less effort and space and takes less time. Everyone should know the joys of eating something they have grown.