Grow Your Own in Carrickfergus Borough
Carrickfergus Borough Council has a number of initiatives to support residents who want to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs. The following initiatives are designed to support you whatever you circumstances.
For beginners we have the One Pot Pledge in assocation with Garden Organics.
For School Kids we have the Growing Clubs for Schools initiative.
We have also Allotments at Eden Allotment Gardens.
Vegetables & health
Gardeners who grow their own fruit and vegetables could be the healthiest people. That's the conclusion of Dr Laurence J Trueman, a molecular biologist and biochemist currently working as a consultant to the horticulture industry specialising in the effect of eating fruit and vegetables on human health. Dr Trueman describes the health benefits of fruit & veg:
- Eating 400g (14oz) of fruit and vegetables a day provides protection against super oxide radicals; these are known to be major causes of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- There is increasing evidence that some of these may not only protect against cancer, but actively slow the growth and in some cases kill cancer cells; e.g. brassicas may be able to kill cancer cells and watercress may be able to kill lung cancer cells.
- Vegetables provide more benefits than fruit - up to twice as much.
- Variety is the key to life: it is important to eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in as wide a range of colours as possible - something that gardeners are always doing as they're keen to experiment with new things - such as multi-coloured carrots.
- Selenium is a co-factor in helping the effectiveness of fruit and vegetables fight these diseases. Selenium is rare in British soils, but is common in manure and manure-based fertilisers, and so is present in soils fed with these substances.
- Freshness is a major factor in the effectiveness of fruit and vegetables to fight disease, and the best way of getting the freshest produce available is to grow and harvest your own.
- Stress is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and gardening is known to reduce stress.
The Peat Free Promise
As well as getting people to grow their own we also encourage people to grow food peat-free. Peat is a very valuable natural resource and we're doing our bit to help gardeners realise that we don't need peat to grow food successfully. If you'd like to know more about going peat free visit www.idontdigpeat.org.uk.
If you want to know more about growing your own fruit and vegetables in the Borough please contact us.