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The food garden fairies

While most gardeners will agree that the gardening itself is a major part of the pleasure and that the fruits of your labours aren’t everything, there are those who are so busy that they simply don’t have time to plan a vegetable garden and implement it. Cue the food garden fairies…


In England, Living Leaves will send you your garden in kit form, so that you can grow food for yourself and your family in the very smallest amount of time possible. It’s a far cheaper way of ensuring that you eat organic veg than ordering an organic veg box, and you will gain a great sense of achievement in having grown your own food while saving you money in the process.

Living Leaves charges from £2.48 a week for year round organic veggies and salads. Not bad. The kit comes with a flat-packed raised bed layout, cloches to protect your bounty, and instructions on what you need to do to grow your own food. They’ll then send you plug plants and seeds throughout the year, again with instructions, and reminders of when you need to be harvesting, digging up potatoes, etc. All you need to remember to do is water your garden. The product range starts with Planting Plans (a year round supply of salad or vegetable plants and monthly growing advice) from £69, and raised bed garden kits from about £200. The system is flexible so that the modular components can be used to create gardens to feed a single person, a family of four or a household of twenty plus.

In South Africa, you get it even easier if you’re a “too busy to garden” gardener. Eat Your Garden will give you a telephonic consultation with a permaculture specialist, then turn up at your home with compost, mulch (for beds and paths), geofabric for under the mulch on your paths between beds, 120 seedlings and liquid feed to get them going. They even throw in the labour, so that your garden is fully planted and ready to be watered and nurtured by you. This will cost you R3500 for the lot.

Benefits of growing your own food at home:

1. You reduce your carbon footprint considerably.
2. It’s cheaper to grow your own than to buy, even at supermarket prices.
3. Home grown food is fresher because it doesn’t have to travel, making it healthier.
4. It gives you food security.
5. Teaches your children a valuable life skill.