Garden bedsThese days, more and more people are considering growing their own vegetables.  There’s no substitute for freshly picked garden produce (once you’ve tried it, you’ll know what I mean) and it can help keep food costs down.

Of course not all of us have the space to grow enough to make a big difference to our food-spend, or have no clue how to go about it in any case… but what if you were able to lease a small piece of arable land, not too far away from home, where you could grow to your heart’s content (with some guidance, if you’re new to it)?

Would you try it?

My pondering was sparked by a recent comment on a post I wrote a few months back on food gardens in the Western Cape:

I have been thinking of setting up small scale allotments of about 200 square metres for keen organic vegetable gardener. The general idea would be to provide electricity, water point, and an over night type shed with ablution facility to each allotment, common use of a small tractor to prepare the soil, assistance with organic farming procedures etc. The entire allotment area would be properly fenced off with security provided. I would appreciate it if a farmer in the Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Wellington or Paarl areas would consider leasing off a section of land for this enterprise or assist with setting up this concept. (Gavin)

Personally, I would love to do something like this… Having a piece of land bigger than my current postage stamp (plus sun-chasing pots) on which to grow my own food would definitely float my boat.

Of course, travelling to and from the areas mentioned would need to be considered – one of the main reasons to grow your own is to reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on transport costs.  But for people who lived relatively nearby, it could work…

And, if 200 square metres seems like a lot, what about friends and families getting together and leasing the land cooperatively, taking turns at doing the gardening…?

I think this could be the start of something… In Europe, many countries (like Denmark) have what they call ‘summer gardens’ – allotments upon which citizens can grow to their heart’s content – so why shouldn’t we?

What do you think?

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