Dig for Victory gets off to rocky start

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It seems like the whole country is being urged to start growing their own veg in an effort to beat the credit crunch and cut down on food miles. Not being inclined to jot down notes in a gardening journal, I thought I’d start logging my own humble home growing efforts in this blog.

Having installed ‘raised beds’ (replete with rotting manure) in our once attractive garden I’ve been raising little seedlings indoors. The good news is that, after an anxious two week wait, I’ve finally been greeted by an array of little seedlings on my lounge window. The lounge window, in the absence of a greenhouse, seemed like a good place to put them. That was until I discovered that my two-year old had stuck her grubby little fingers into the pots and left a trail of compost over the cream curtains. Worse still, she’d removed all of the labels I’d carefully written and stuck onto each pot and deposited them in a pile. I’m now confronted with a series of unidentifiable seedlings that may or may not be sweetcorn, courgette, onion squash or pumpkin.

Still, I’m optimistic of a more extensive crop than last year. Despite nurturing my tomato plants throughout the waterlogged summer, I managed to produce a single edible specimen which – even with the addition of balsamic vinegar – tasted of kitchen roll. Even this, however, was more successful than my dwarf beans which I proudly watched snaking round my cane edifice for a full two months, convinced that they would burst forth at any moment with an abundance of beans. I was gutted when Jean-Philippe finally broke the news that the foliage so beautifully entwined round the canes was in fact nothing more fruitful than ivy.

Meanwhile the pressure to produce is mounting. I’ve discovered that Louis – already precociously entrepreneurial at seven – has been touting our (as yet, non existent) home produce to one and all. He’s drawn up a price list for an alarmingly broad range of vegetables, produced a flyer and started taking forward orders. Alan Sugar would be proud.