Wednesday, 21 November 2012

World Food Shortage Solution - Grow Your Own Fruit & Veg

Climate Change is increasingly effecting our day to day lives.  The immediate effects have been felt this year in the US midwest and more recently in New York. In the UK we had little significant sunny weather to report of and now we are seeing devastating floods all across the country.  Nearly all scientists agree that the effects have been caused by humans and now it is our job to put it right.

We can try and put pressure on world governments to take drastic action before its too lat but with food prices going up way above inflation, one area we could all save money is by growing our own fruit and veg.  We may well be in for another wet year in the UK next year as climate scientists tell us that oceans are heating up, causing more precipitation in the atmosphere in some areas of the world including Western Europe while other parts of the world are drying out.

If growing your own in the UK, we need to look at vegetable varieties that are tolerant of wet conditions. Vegetables such as cabbages and other green veg such as, kale, cauliflower and broccoli are all good choices for cool, damp ground. Celery has evolved from a swamp plant so this is another good option for a wet Spring/Summer.  You could also try creating a herb garden with a selection of herb plants.

Planting in greenhouses is another option to keep your plants dry and warm. If looking at fruit to be grown in greenhouses, Indoor grape vines are ideal for this environment.

It could be a good idea to create drier conditions using raised beds. Build frames from rot resistant or plastic containers and fill with soil, mounting as high as possible to allow plenty of room for roots to grow so they do not sit in wet soil beneath the beds. The sides need to be a minimum 12 inches high, much higher if growing root crops like carrots or turnips.

While the UK and western Europe may be suffering from a wetter climate, areas such as the US midwest, Russia, and west Africa and drying out and crops such as coco and corn will not be able to grow. That's unless researchers can develop drought-tolerant plants capable of handling hotter, drier conditions like those forecast for areas such as west Africa.

Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world's population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.  In the long term the vegetarian diet is only going to further push up prices of fruit and veg so living off the fat of the land maybe one solution providing the climate allows for it.

Changing to a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world, the scientists said. Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet. One third of the world's arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals so the only solution is to grow more fruit and Veg and feed less animals.

If we have another bad crop yield in the largest producing countries such as the US and Russia, we could face even larger food price hikes on not only meet but also vegetables as any shortage in one food group will push all other prices.

Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world's leading water scientists. We will have to come up with radical new ideas how to produce food to stop the world going hungry.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Christmas Gardening Gifts from Groves

Here is a run down of the must have Christmas garden gifts from Groves.

Raspberry Bushes - from £7.50
A raspberry plant makes an ideal Christmas present. Planting healthy raspberry canes is crucial to the success of the crop. In order to attain the highest possible standards of raspberry bush health, we have ensured that - All Stocks have been entered and inspected under the Plant Health Propagation Scheme (PHPS).

We also have plenty of other soft fruit available

Wolf 2in1 Battery Grass and Hedge Trimmer £99.99
The 2 in 1 Battery Shears are now available as a promotional set which makes an idea Christmas Gift. A handy storage case contains everything you need for lawn edge and hedge trimming, including; battery shear with both grass and hedge trimming blades, a UK battery charger, clip on wheels for precision working and a user manual. The ACTS adaptable handle also comes included in this set price.
We also sell Roses and Violets which can make an unusual gift. Violets can be sent mostly all year round and Roses can only be sent from November to March. However both are available all year round at our Garden Centre. We also stock a large range of garden tools which make an ideal gift for the keen gardener.


This 400g tin makes the ideal Christmas gift from deepest, darkest Dorset.

This presentation tin contains 400g bags of traditional (stoneground) Dorset Knobs and leaves you with the ideal place to store your knobs in the future. The Dorset Knobs will be great for your after Christmas dinner with cheese and chutney.

This 6 litre Premium Cross-Beam fruit press makes a wonderful tool for crushing all your fruit. We have 6, and 12 litre presses in this model which are ideal for all fruit including Apples for juice or cider/wine, grapes for wine or juice and virtually any other fruit you can think of. There is no assembly required and is ready to use out of the packaging. It would make an ideal gift for Christmas for next years crop of apples and fruit.


Hand Made Steel Potato Planter - £24.99

Made to an Old English design, made in Dorset. This quality Potato Planting tool will save you time and back-ache and makes an ideal gift for Christmas. The tool is crafted from steel, it is sturdy and hard-wearing. A pivoted opening cup allows hole penetration and planting to be done accurately and quickly. In fact, you'll wonder how you ever managed without one.


Oak Plant Label Markers - £4.99
Handmade FSC oak plant markers x 5, ideal to use in a herb gardens. Approx length of each marker 20cm. Plant markers can be reused, by removing any writing with sand paper.       

Grape Vines - From £11.25
Growing your own grape vines is very satisfying and will make an ideal Christmas present. Growing your own vineyards is a brilliant way to produce excellent home brew. Or you may wish to grow your grape vines to produce quality grapes to eat.

Our selection of grape vines are ready for indoor and outdoor. We have red, white and rose, dessert and wine making. We feel that this gives you a real choice, without baffling you with too many varieties.      

We have a fine selection of small gifts for gardeners including Cruet sets, Tipple flask and a range of Alan Titchmarsh garden products ideal for stocking fillers or small Christmas Gifts.
Rose Plants - From £8.50

Delivered to us in November we send out bare root rose all through the winter months usually up until the end of March and then potted after this. We keep all the varieties in stock here on our nursery so we are usually able to get the roses out to you in couple of days. All Rose plants has the option of a free gift message when you get to the checkout, so you can send a Rose directly to your loved one as a Christmas Present.