Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Local food production will continue to grow


The number of people looking to get in to gardening, be it at home or in the community, will continue to rise this year. In the last 12 months there has been a large increase in the number of community gardens springing up in different locations in the US.

People will continue to see the benefits in growing produce for themselves not only in terms of health but also in expense because after the initial outlay, cultivating is quite cheap.

Incorporating livestock among the gardens and greenhouses is also likely to be a popular practice among budding horticulturists, according to horticultural editor at the National Gardening Association Susan Littlefield.

“Many of our readers are interested in learning to care for their yards and gardens in ways that promote environmental sustainability and reduce their garden’s carbon footprint,” Ms Littlefield added.

The gardening expert suggested people will be able to do this in a number of ways including installing rain gardens to prevent runoff, growing plants that support pollinators which are beneficial to insects or purely reducing the amount of area devoted to lawn.

Another reason that green-fingered gardeners are likely to be interested in creating a garden is because edible landscapes give aesthetic pleasure as well as nutritional value.

When people decide they want to grow their own produce it is important to try and work out what might be the best vegetation to cultivate as getting the balance right is a vital ingredient to a happy greenspace.

Davina Wynne-Jones, founder of herbsforhealing.net, which offers workshops in the practical use of herbs, said there are a number of herbs that can be grown that are able to boost the immune system.

Ms Wynne-Jones said echinacea, which is a very pretty purple flower, is the best herb if you’re attempting to feel better about yourself. Echinacea angustifolia or echinacea purpurea are the species of plant to go for. The seeds are effective for making tea.

As well as providing a boost to the immune system, some herbs can have a detoxing effect. Cleavers and nettle tops are both anti-inflammatory and people could be advised to grow these.

The nettles stimulate the liver and kidneys, while the cleavers help stimulate the lymph system to help get rid of toxins.

Trend spotter at the Garden Media Group Susan McCoy recently suggested that people are desperate to use gardening to get a taste of the “good life”.