Ready, Steady, GROW YOUR OWN!!

8 12 2008

It seems the VegBox Team is beginning to morph into the cast from The Good Life!

As per other blogs that we’ve posted of late, and judging by the MULTI-multitude of similar articles being published around the world every week, “Growing Your Own” seems never to have been more relevant than now.

For our money, starting to grow fruit and vegetables at home, even on a small scale, is right up there on the list of “green practices” we can embark on in pursuit of a healthier economy, ecologically more respectful living, physical well being and stronger communities.

If you are in any way considering dusting off the trowel, you might be interested to know that at 7pm on Tuesday, December 2nd, we hosted a free, live webcast, in association with the team at (where it’s FREE to swap, sell, give away, recycle and share ideas with like-minded people), to provide some straightforward guidance to help you get started.

We were joined by writer, broadcaster, and veritable eco-hero Penney Poyzer, who dispelled some of the myths surrounding the GYO lifestyle choice, and shared priceless “How To” tips for beginners.

A large group of growers and aspiring growers rang in to support, listen to and learn from Penney and some incredibly useful questions were asked. And answered!

A summary of Penney’s top tips, a digest of other essential resources, and a “get started” list of what to do first / next is available here.

You can listen to the recording of the call by clicking here.

We hope you are as inspired as we were. And we’d LOVE to hear from you on this topic. Do you already grow your own? What do you love about it? What recipes have you cooked recently using home-grown produce? Are you thinking about starting? What questions have you still got? Did you listen in to the call? What did you think? Use the comments box at the bottom to share your thoughts.

The VegBox Team

About Penney Poyzer
Penney Poyzer is an author, broadcaster, trainer and campaigner specialising in the communication of green issues.

She is co-owner of the Nottingham ecohome, a pioneering eco retrofit of a Victorian semi in Nottingham. She and her husband green architect Gil Schalom have lectured extensively on their home and the issues surrounding our existing housing stock. Their ecohome has been cited as an exemplar and has been featured in many case studies, hundreds of media articles and formed the basis of dozens of dissertations. She is mentor to a number of PhD students and green business entrepreneurs.

She presented BBC2’s ‘No Waste like Home’ which has been broadcast on four continents. She is also author of two books with a third out in 2009.

She is a regular guest on TV and radio and frequently appears as panellist at conferences talking on a wide range of green issues. Penney is an advisor to several strategic organsiations including the Environment Agency.

She is a Matron, Patron and trustee of several green charities.

Penney is 48 and lives with husband Gil and toddler Jasmine. Penney also has Lucy, her grown up daughter and her two children. Penney is a happy, busy granny working hard with others to hand our children a planet worth inheriting.


Book Review – “Not On The Label” by Felicity Lawrence

23 11 2006

Not On The LabelI’ve been away for a couple of weeks and have been re-reading “Not On The Label” by Felicity Lawrence.

I was in the USA and it didn’t take long for me to become a compulsive food-label-reader – much to the confusion of the family and friends we stayed with.

The thing is, even the most innocent-sounding food seemed to be packed with chemicals. Even half fat cream had colouring, flavourings, preservatives, sugar and salt. Yet the packaging was thick with words like “natural” and “healthy”.

So I dug out Felicity’s book again, to remind myself that all isn’t so rosie on this side of the Atlantic, either.

I remember reading “Not On The Label” a couple of years ago and it was the book that changed the way I thought about food. It covered everything from bread and chicken to pre-packed salads and even the exploitation of immigrant workers.

Felicity Lawrence is a journalist, used to uncovering dirty secrets and making a story out of them. However, for this book, the dirt was far from secret and the story was already there.

It’s thoroughly researched, easy-to-read and you can dip in and out of it, depending which type of food you’re interested in.

But beware! “Not On The Label” could change the way you eat…

Read the full review now.

Read the book already? Tell us what you think – use the comments section.