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Homegrown Produce

Handful of fresh plums

Following on from my blog post last Autumn on seasonal nutrition, I thought I would continue the theme, with a mini blog on my homegrown produce.

I have been experimenting a bit more and I am so excited to share what has been successful in my own garden this summer!

Fresh raspberries

From a naturopathic point of view, I really think that growing your own not only has great nutritional benefits (see my seasonal nutrition blog for more on this) but it also nourishes your mental and physical wellbeing. There are many research papers out there highlighting the benefits of gardening and growing your own produce. I love this paper by Thompson (2018), highlighting how gardening, plants and green spaces can have such a positive impact on mental and physical health, having the potential to reduce pressure on overwhelmed NHS services (I have put the reference at the end of the blog)!

Bowl of plums

For those in the chronic illness community, this paragraph is for you…. What if I physically can’t or don’t have the energy to do these things? I have been there and totally understand. I am still careful with what I choose to grow and always start with herbs. You could have them indoors, on your windowsill or grow them in containers outside with some help from friends/family that you can harvest whilst sitting down. Trust me, it still brings great joy and many benefits, not just for your herbal teas or dinner garnishes but outdoor and physical connection to nature. My central nervous system really thanks me for it. My favourite herbs to grow are mint, rosemary, coriander, thyme, lemon balm.

I have however, expanded my herbal produce this year (I will put putting some of my posts on Instagram highlighting a herbal honey I made)! I will do future blog posts going into detail on some of the nutritional therapeutic benefits these herbs can bring.

Green soup

So back to the produce… fruit has been in abundance: fresh raspberries, plums, apples. Yes, I have enjoyed making desserts out of these (it is all about balance)! BUT I have loved having the most natural antioxidant pick-me-up on hand to start my day. The nutrient content will be superior to supermarket bought because you really can’t get fresher produce than from your own garden!

I would like to finish with vegetables as these provide the fundamental building blocks of my meals. Nourishing soups, fresh salad leaves, stir fry veggies have been my main uses this year.

I hope this mini blog has been a little 'photo real' of inspiration for your future home-growing ventures and, to realise that it doesn’t have to be complicated or too energy taxing to dip into a bit of natural produce from your own back yard (or windowsill)!

Rainbow chard

Journal paper: Thompson, R. (2018). Gardening for health: a regular dose of gardening. Clinical Medicine, 18(3), 201-205.


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