A Step Towards Self-Sufficiency: Growing My Own Veggies!

Onesta Journal

A Step Towards Self-Sufficiency: Growing My Own Veggies!

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Growing your own fruit and vegetables is one of the most satisfying, and sustainable, things that you can do. Whilst many people think that it requires a big garden and lots of space, it is actually very possible to get a large yield in compact areas. During 2020, that’s exactly what I attempted to do, and I’m here to take you through the journey!

Around the side of the house, we had an approximately 3x1 metre area that, over the years, became a dumping area for things we weren’t sure what to do with. It was piled up with bike stands, broken greenhouses and long lost dog toys. But, I was determined to turn this area into something a little more useful.

The area was cleared by recycling or fixing the abundance of abandoned items that had found themselves there, and I began searching Gumtree for materials to build a vegetable patch. Thanks to the new DIY craze in my local area, brought on by the recently announced lockdown, I managed to get my hands on over 80 free bricks. These would become the boundary of the new patch.

Getting stuck into some DIY myself, I constructed a swinging gate from recycled wood, learnt how to mix mortar and built my first wall. Using only recycled and re-purposed materials, I now had a 3 metre squared vegetable patch ready for planting!  

Speaking of planting, a few months prior to this a multitude of vegetable seeds were sown indoors, to protect them from the frost. At this point, they had been re-potted and hardened off, and were ready to go into the patch. We had sown sunflowers, sweetcorn, radish, carrots, courgette, peas, peppers, cucamelons.. the list goes on!

It was now a waiting game. Patiently, we watched the seedlings grow into substantial plants. With regular watering and a few rescue missions, we began to see the fruits of our labour. We harvested a 3kg bright yellow courgette (6 times the size of those seen in the supermarket!), hundreds of peas and thousands and sunflower seeds. These harvests made us some of the tastiest meals we have ever created. Not only because they weren’t farmed using harmful, inorganic pesticides and fertilisers, but because we grew them ourselves, with our bare hands!

So, have you got you own abandoned corner of the garden? A little patch on your city patio you can give away to a potted plant? Or, even a windowsill? I challenge you to grow just one fruit or vegetable this coming season! 

It might seem a little daunting with no previous experience or knowledge on how to grow plants, so I have linked some resources below on how to get started, as well as some links to some small varieties of vegetable seeds, specifically bred to thrive in urban and tiny spaces.


How to get started:





Urban / Tiny Space Seed varieties:



Good luck! 

Lily x