Why I Grow My Own Vegetables

Paola Bassanese
4 min readJun 25, 2021

I started growing my own vegetables a whole year before the Covid-19 pandemic, well before it was fashionable.

I moved from London to Ireland (because of Brexit) and found a house with a garden, as this was my plan all along. I knew immediately that I wanted to put the garden to good use: it wouldn’t be a decorative garden but it had to earn its place in the world and produce me some produce.

Growing Vegetables Is Not Easy

I started growing vegetables even when I used to live in a studio flat in London: I would go to my local community garden where you could grow vegetables in some small allotments in exchange for volunteering your time for the upkeep of the grounds. My favourite volunteering activity was pruning all the brambles, it was very satisfying. It also seem that it’s what I am normally drawn to, as I did the same in previous volunteering projects in former employment as part of corporate social responsibility initiatives.

I didn’t have much success in that community garden when it came to bringing any vegetables home that I had nurtured, because I was always pipped to the post by slugs and snails.

Things haven’t changed much because I currently share my garden with a strong community of voracious Irish slugs and snails. They obviously think they rule the place, so I just leave some sacrificial plants for them to snack on in the hope they will leave something for me after their nightly feasts.

I mentioned in a previous article that I grow my own vegetables so I wanted to expand a bit more on that.

My first homegrown strawberry of the season
Greens, garlic and spring onion from my garden
My purple sprouting broccoli

Back in 2019, in the middle of a cold and rainy winter, I started clearing the lawn from my garden using cardboard and black plastic sheets to smother anything growing on the surface. I also started composting so I could have a fresh supply of organic compost to layer on top of the soil and therefore improve soil fertility. I would recommend watching the excellent…



Paola Bassanese

Author and freelance writer. I work with clients to create engaging communications. Keen forager and on a mission to have a low carbon footprint