Grow your own
If you grow your own fruit and vegetables, in an eco-friendly way, you will help the environment and your own health in many ways. It is the ultimate in local food and will help in the reduction of greenhouse gases. With so much agriculture and horticulture given over to industrial-scale monoculture gardeners may be the saviours of biodiversity.
Freshly harvested vegetables and fruit are the best types of food you can eat. After picking, vegetables are still living things. But once harvested, they can no longer renew their food and energy supplies, thus most fresh produce moves quickly past prime condition. As sugar provides the energy for the continuing life processes in all vegetables, it’s quickly depleted once vegetables are picked. Corn stored for just one day at room temperature can lose over 25 per cent of its total sugars. Peas and beans lose even more.
There is an enormous sense of satisfaction from growing your own food and it’s something the whole family can get involved with. You will also make yourself more self-sufficient and save money.
Chemical free gardening
As the abundant warnings on garden herbicides and insecticides attest these products contain nasty substances. Some of these not ony hit the target species but also poison birds and other wildlife and pollute water systems. It is also possible that, like many household cleaning chemicals, they are the result of a polluting manufacturing process.
Just with farming (see organic food) weed and pest killers may be avoided with a little effort.
Dig or pull weeds out by hand. Difficult weeds may need to be dug over with a cover of plastic or carpet to deny them light.
Slugs, snails and insects
The natural solution is the best. Birds will eat snails. Hedgehogs will eat slugs. Ladybirds and lacewings will eat aphids. Birds can be encouraged by certain plantings like hedges and bird boxes. (And by keeping your cats under check – put a bell around their neck!)
The growing of certain plant species in proximity may repel pests.