Is it time we became more self sufficient?

How things have changed in the last few days. With strict instructions to stay at home, we’re all trying to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this dreaded virus. Our gardens are extensions of our homes, and, as such, are places where you can while away the hours, especially as we’ve had some lovely weather recently. With our supermarkets struggling to meet our demands for food, isn’t time we became more self-sufficient in Shrewsbury?

Grow your own

The ‘grow your own’ trend has been increasing in recent years, with allotments developing long waiting lists and our desire for fresh produce ever more prevalent. But that’s not the only advantage; gardening, especially in times like these, is good for your mental health. You don’t have to have a large outside space to grow your own, in fact you can grow herbs inside your own home. Each and every one of us has the ability to grow our own and become more self-sufficient.

Herb garden

Your outdoor herb garden can be planted in any kind of container, so if you don’t have any planters, don’t panic – as long as it has good drainage, it should be fine. It’s advisable to use metal pots or small ceramic containers for your indoor herb garden, use one pot per herb with a hole in the bottom and something underneath to catch the water. Mint, basil and parsley are often suggested to those who are new to herb gardening as, good news, they tend to be easy to maintain. Regardless of what herbs you choose, they will add some flavour to your lockdown dishes.

Today and tomorrow

What this crisis has shown is our reliance on the shops – just imagine a future when this is taken away for certain goods. Repeat harvests takes away this reliance, and vegetables such as broad beans and courgettes can be picked for weeks; nutritious kale produces new leaves quickly, making it a beneficial choice.

Today and tomorrow

You will want to plant things that have quick results. You can add big favour with certain microleaves such as rocket, radish, and fennel, and they can be harvested when they are just 5cm tall. These are readily available online in seed or grow kit forms. When it comes to fruit, strawberries can be planted now; it’s also the ideal time for pot-grown fruit trees.


One of the problems many state as a reason not to grow their own is time, but as we are now looking at weeks being based at home, there’s no better time to get started. There will be a wealth of advice online and even in our Shrewsbury Facebook groups; we know as soon as you ask for help in our community, you will soon have the confidence to become more self-sufficient.

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