I visited my folks last weekend and as soon as I got to their house made a bee line for the vegetable patch. No I hadn't buried any treasure down the end of the garden ... but there were spoils to be had!
My mum's artfully constructed vegetable patch, which doesn't look anything like your regular alotment, is brimming with home grown goodies - courgettes, beetroot, sweetcorn, beans, plums, apples, pears and more and I was delighted to come back to London with a hoard of courgettes and fruit!
Sadly I haven't inherited my mums green fingers but I do wish I didn't have the most inhospitable windy balcony where only the hardiest of plants survive, as I'd love to grow my own fruit and veg. The great thing about growing your own is that it's cheap, it's fresher than from the supermarket so more nutritious and you know what's been on it (my mum grows organically). Plus it's pretty satisfying and therapeutic to grow and cook your own produce.
Even for us city folk crammed into tiny terraces and flats you don't necessarily need a big garden to enjoy some home grown goodies and it doesn't need to be a lot of work either. My wonderful friend Sylvia is growing tomatoes in pots on her patio and strawberries in hanging baskets (the slugs can't reach them there - genius) with little effort.
Jamie Oliver, the king of all things tasty and easy, recommends starting by growing salad leaves in a tomato bag, or growing the more reliable herbs thyme, rosemary and sage, in a window box.
For some beginners advice and usual JO enthusiasm read the article below.