One in three Brits are living the Good Life – with the average home-grower nurturing seven types of fruit and veg
- 80 per cent of Britons think growing food will save them money amid shortages
- People are opting for homegrown produce in order to rely less on supermarkets
Amid the cost of living crisis, researchers have discovered one in three Britons now have their own fruit and vegetable patch in a bid to become more self-sufficient.
Among the third of UK gardeners, the average amount are nurturing seven types of produce that they can then use in cooking, meaning at least three meals a week will contain ingredients grown in the garden.
The study, which was undertaken by gardening experts Miracle-Gro, also found that 80 per cent think that growing their own food would leave them more protected against the current shortages.
Last month marked a full year since monthly grocery inflation rose beyond four per cent as consumers named it their second most important issue behind energy costs and two-thirds said they were concerned about food and drink prices.
The latest rise in food prices follows as half of the people in the UK have claimed to buy less food when shopping in recent weeks, figures released in late February showed.
Hannah Reid (pictured), 26, is an organic gardener and plant science student enjoys sharing her love for growing on Instagram
The survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) demonstrated the rising cost of living caused people to cut back on spending, leaving a significant proportion of households struggling to afford to eat.
Half of the adults who took part in the survey over the two weeks to January 29 said they were buying less when food shopping, slightly more than the amount who said so in a previous survey.
Read More: Retailers warn of rising cost of key ingredients such as sugar after food inflation grew to 15% this month
Jayne Horswill, a spokesperson for Miracle-Gro, said: ‘Growing your own food is an easy, cost-effective move which will not only save you a few pennies but also bring you joy when watching them grow – and eating them!’
A further one in five admit that they want to rely less on supermarkets, with 27 per cent of people agreeing that it is cheaper to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
However, Brits aren’t just looking to save money by growing food in the garden as many also bake bread and cakes, make jam and chutney, while some even pickle their own chillies.
35 per cent of people also insists they want to grow their own fruit and vegetables at some point, while a further 5 per cent would love to have their own chickens and other livestock.
Strawberries and tomatoes at 21 per cent were found to be the most popular foods grown at home, followed by potatoes at 18 per cent and lettuce at 16 per cent.
There is also space in our gardens for herbs, with Rosemary coming in at 19 percent, Thyme with 17 percent and Parsley at 16 percent, which are all common in Brit’s gardens.
Gardener and Chartered Horticulturist, David Domoney (pictured), 60, said that growing your own produce during the cost-of-living-crisis ‘should not be underestimated’
30-year-old Richard Hollis (pictured) from Cornwall enjoys basking in the fruits of his labour and eating his home-grown vegetables
Ms Horswill added: ‘Our mission is to get more people to grow and spend time outdoors – because it’s not only good for your mental health but also super easy to do, contrary to what people think.
‘All you need is the right tools, an idea of what you want to grow and the correct guidance on how to grow – all of which we’re here to help with.’
The culture of growing has moved on so far that 31 per cent of Brits believe that they could be self-sufficient and live off the food they’ve grown themselves if push came to shove.
Chartered Horticulturist and celebrity gardener David Domoney, said: ‘Putting aside the obvious benefits of growing your own to combat the cost-of-living crisis and the unavailability in supermarkets, the process of growing and harvesting your own food has significant mental and physical benefits.
‘Both keeping your body active, planting, tending, and harvesting, plus more vitamins and flavour from the freshly picked crops.’
The 60-year-old added: ‘Growing your own should not be underestimated. In fact, everyone in the country should be reaping the rewards it brings.’
Mr Domoney, who co-presents the TV gardening programme Love Your Garden and is the resident gardener on ITV’s This morning, said growing your own crops means that you will produce less plastic waste, eat healthier fresh food, save money, and benefit the plane as you engage with nature.
David (pictured) urged people to get involved as growing your own fruit and vegetables has significant mental and physical benefits
26-year-old Hannah Reid, a plant science student, uses her social media platform on Instagram (gingergrows1) to document her journey to growing produce in her garden, showing people just how easy it can be.
The push for people to grow their own food comes as millions of Britons are bracing for the latest cost-of-living hit as an onslaught of bills are set to rise including broadband, mobile, water and council tax.
Households are facing price hikes which could leave the average family up to £700 worse off a year, according to research from the CEBR.
A study found that soaring bills and tax hikes due to come into effect from tomorrow will leave a family on a £50,000 annual income nearly £700 worse off – marking the sharpest blow to living standards since the 1950s.
The increase in these unavoidable bills comes as hard working Britons are already grappling with the cost of living crisis, including soaring inflation and food prices.
In a bid to spend less money in the supermarket, 30-year-old Richard Hollis from Cornwall grows vegetables in his garden.
Hannah Reid (pictured) is a part of the 29 per cent of Britons who now have a fruit and vegetable patch at home in a bid to become more self-sufficient
He said: ‘I love growing veg because it’s so rewarding. It’s incredibly relaxing tending to the plants you grow and after lots of love and care you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour on the dinner plate!
‘The veg always tastes better when it’s homegrown and straight from the garden, even more so when you get to share the harvests with your friends and family.’
However, those living in cities should not worry about missing out, as 25-year-old Chloe from London said: ‘There’s a misconception that living in an urban area means you can’t grow your own fruit and veg but that’s not the case!
‘Last year in our small London family garden we grew green beans, tomatoes, strawberries and a few herbs like rosemary.’
She added that they didn’t need much space and ‘it was so rewarding to grow our own,
‘They didn’t need much space and it was so rewarding to grow our own! This year we’ve planned on growing the same thing but considering adding a few extras to our list – it will definitely help us save a few pennies, and make us enjoy our outdoor space even more’.
Jack Peat (pictured), 37, from South East London, managed to get an allotment last summer after being on a waiting list for over two years
Jack Peat, 37, from South East London, acquired an allotment last summer after having been on a waiting list for over two years.
Although the plot was ‘an overgrown mess’ when he first took it on, Jack had a great time clearing the space and mapping out where to plant his crops.
He said: ‘It has honestly changed my life.
‘It now has a small kitchen garden with herbs and edible flowers, curry beds for chilli’s and garlic, two big plots for planting veg and even a luxury bug hotel with a rooftop garden full of eco-friendly wildflowers!
‘I’m looking forward to bringing in my first full crop this year and expect it to be a bountiful harvest with a wide range of produce.’
The 37-year-old added: ‘I use the cooking apples and onions to make brown sauce which has been a big hit with friends and family. In the cost of living crisis, a big Kilner jar of ‘JP sauce’ and other garden-grown treats helps keep the fridge well stocked for next to no money.’
Supermarket price inflations have risen to a staggering 17.1 per cent in the four weeks to 19 February, according to data firm Kantar, meaning shoppers face spending an extra £811 on average for food this year.
Jack looks forward to bringing in his first full crop this year and expects a ‘bountiful harvest’. Pictured: Jack Peat (right) with a friend (left) in his allotment
This year, one in four Britons are struggling to make ends meet, compared to one in five last year.
As British grocers ration vegetables due to shortages, researchers said sales were unlikely to be affected as shoppers usually bought fresh items in smaller quantities – making the prospect of growing produce at home all the more appealing.
Vicky Carter, 40, from Cornwall said: ‘I grow my own because I find a huge sense of wonder and amazement when I get to harvest food that I have grown from seed.
‘It’s highly addictive and the fruit and veg taste amazing, so much more flavourful than shop bought.’
While Tegen, 23, and her cousin Aillia, 11, both from Cornwall, said: ‘Every year our family heads to the allotment to grow our own fruit and veg and it always turns out to be a bit of a competition, who can grow the biggest courgette or tomato for example!
‘Growing our own fruit and veg is something that is very important to my family and has helped to build such a strong bond between all of the family generations. Not only do we enjoy growing fruit and veg as a family activity, but I really enjoy the experience of growing my own and watching food grow from food to fork.’
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