You don’t need a massive plot to be able to grow your own fruit and vegetables. Even in a small garden you can have fresh produce, free from pesticides and other chemicals and with zero amounts of packaging and food miles on your conscience – ideal for baby food making. What makes home grown even more tempting is the taste – your own tomatoes and strawberries have a depth of favour never found in those bought at the supermarket.
However if space is short, do some research and plan carefully what you’re going to grow – you may have cute, Halloween inspired ideas about home grown Jack o’lanterns but pumpkins spread wildly over the garden and take up a lot of room. Instead try these more compact, easy grow options.
Beans, cucumbers, melons and tomatoes are the first choice for a small space as they all grow upwards. Beans are low maintenance and will grow in almost any soil, sown in a shallow trench but will probably need support as they get taller. Cucumber, melons and tomatoes all grow well in pots and like a warm, sheltered spot so are ideal for a patio.
Carrots and potatoes
Root vegetables actually grow well in pots, as long as they have a certain amount of depth. Choose early varieties and pick while still young. Radishes and baby beetroot grow well the same way. These are all ideal for pureeing with a potato ricer or rotary vegetable mill into delicious, nutritious baby foods.
Using a rotary vegetable mill for the purest baby food
The above veg provide all the foundations you need for baby weaning. Using a rotary vegetable mill will help greatly with preparation. Take a couple of potatoes and a couple of carrots and boil gently. A home grown courgette would be a great addition – they’re easy to grow and each plant should give you about 30 fruits, but you’ll need a good metre squared per plant as they do spread.
Take a rotary vegetable mill:
Push your boiled veg gently through the rotary vegetable mill and keep pureeing until you achieve a perfectly smooth, lump free texture. There’s no need to add salt or anything else. An ice cube tray is ideal for storing individual portion sizes.
Use the same method with your other home grown fruits and veg, adding some scrambled egg, some fish or lean meat as your child gets older. This way you know exactly what your baby is eating and can be sure he or she is getting maximum nutrition from the freshest, cleanest food.