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With Spring arriving and the country in lockdown, we’re celebrating home grown food this week!

Times are strange at the moment. For many of us being confined to the house has some benefits – we’ve got the washing pile all processed, the porch has been repainted and garden has never looked so good. But, for others this is a time of huge uncertainty, loneliness and financial difficulty. That’s why we think that diving in and getting our hands dirty in the garden is perfect for where we find ourselves. Firstly, in the long run we will save ourselves some money (well have some more articles on the way about this shortly), but it’s a huge boost for our mental health being outside in safe spaces and completing physical work which will release those endorphines! That’s before we get to the satisfaction of watching your seed grow and grow until you have a happy, hea;thy plant that is brimming with food. At the moment every little win is very welcome and throughout your growing journey, you’ll have lots of those.

At this time of year asparagus is beautiful and, not so fortunately, a shining example of how quickly a food can spoil after picking. Sweetcorn is the same, and one of our good friends insists that his wife has the water boiling before picking his corn, and removing the husk as he runs back to the kitchen!

Really fresh sweet corn

Really fresh sweet corn

This is the kind of passion and enthusiasm we want all Brits to feel about our food, and we’re certain that when you grow your own it helps. We appreciate that some people only have a spare windowsill and don’t have the luxury of huge gardens, in that scenario the current Coronavirus is also helping us to reconnect with our local farm shops and local suppliers again. We’ve seen things like this happen before, when we ran a project with a primary school – kids who said they hated vegetables were munching on raw carrots they had grown. Have a watch a see what happened, click here for the video.

At BigBarn we are keen for everyone to have a go at growing food and, if you’re lucky enough to grow an excess, even start trading it locally with our Crop for the shop scheme. This is all part of our mission to build a social, local, food industry, as an alternative to the anti-social national one, that gives neither producers, or consumers, a good deal.

There is no doubt that by cooking and eating fresh fruit and veg, we can significantly improve the overall health of our country’s population will saving money on our shopping. You’ll often find that seasonal vegetables are normally very reasonably priced compared to a ready meal, or imported food, especially if sourced locally.

One thing you’ll often notice is that a home baked potato could cost around 5p compared to a McCane ready made one, in a box, for 50p. Likewise, a soup made from chopped mixed veg and some stock cubes will be a fraction of the cost of tinned soup and much more nutritious.

Growing veg can also kindle some artistic flair to your garden. You’ll likely need a wigwam for your beans to grow up and you can even get the kids decorating their own ones.

There are 4 great reasons to grow your own; save money, get healthy, get enthused and artistic accolade, and, make money by selling your veg through local shops. Take a look at our seed map to help you get started in the garden

To find these shops look for icons marked with a rosette on our local food map, if your local food shop is not on our map yet, please tell them all about us and and help us keep our mission going through these unprecedented times.

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