by Dick Handscombe with inputs from Clodagh – Practical holistic gardeners and authors living well in Spain for 25 years.

With the hottest weeks nearly over, it’s timely to start to prepare, at least mentally, to grow and eat more from the garden or apartment terrace.

What can be grown even in a small space are fruit, vegetables, herbs and meat and you can do so ecologically from day one and avoid residual chemicals on the surface or in the flesh.

Now is a good time to start or expand production as harvests can be before or for Christmas. The first autumn/winter crops you can sow now. They include broccoli and cabbages, onions and leeks, plus climbing butter and haricot beans. At any time you can purchase a young turkey or cockerel to fatten for the Christmas table on kitchen scraps.

gardening-5As explained in our book ‘Growing Healthy Vegetables In Spain’ vegetables can be grown on any scale and in a variety of ways. The ways described in the book include the following:

Very small scale –sprouting seeds in a kitchen sprouter, a herb plant in a pot on the window sill or mushrooms in a sack in the garage.

Small scale – a good mix of seasonal vegetables in containers or growing tables on an apartment or garden terrace or on a small raised bed.

Medium scale – in raised beds or a small veggie plot.

Large scale – on a large veggie plot or a hired or communal allotment.

The book takes you step by step through what, when and how to grow a hundred types of vegetables in the various Spanish growing seasons.

gardening-1We started to grow vegetables on a small scale just growing a few favourites not available from the village, then when local agriculturalists started to use large quantities of chemicals and later leave the land in droves to become builders, we expanded our production to be largely self-sufficient.

gardening-3Likewise with fruits; the few fruit trees that fitted into a cottage-style garden were expanded into a small orchard and we took over an abandoned olive grove. ‘Growing Healthy Fruits In Spain’ covers the growing of some seventy types of fruits.

gardening-4In expanding our productions we started to look more and more at what constituted good eating and which were the most beneficial fruits, vegetables, herbs, tree-leaves etc. Eventually we collated the collected information as the book now just available from Amazon Books. The title is ‘Living Well From Our Garden – Mediterranean Style’.

The book follows the wellness aspects of the history of our garden including mental, physical, gastronomic and economic health. It includes a novel self-audit of how well you eat today.

All is possible and the time can be found by taking less trips to the supermarkets and a determination to live well.

© Dick and Clodagh Handscombe