The more I garden, the more I grow things I eat. Could be that I eat too much, but more than that it is about growing those herbs, fruit and veg that I love.
For me, the idea of growing an edible that I won’t eat is utterly pointless unless I am growing it because I love the look of it. That may sound obvious, but I have met a surprising number of people over the years who grow Edible plants that they then lose confidence over when it comes to eating them.
Scared, perhaps, that their efforts have in some way tainted the plants; it suggests that some of us are being encouraged to believe that if it doesn’t come cleanly packaged from a supermarket it is somehow inferior. Obviously this is utter garbage and nothing could taste better than a home-grown plant.
My second approach to growing edibles, is to always grow varieties that I can‘t readily source from local shops. Some old favourites, some new improvements, but always rarely shop available and delicious. I always grow the Potato ‘Cara’. Great taste, trouble free, mashes, boils, chips and roasts brilliantly. Hardly ever available bagged in supermarkets and not they common in veg markets. I have no idea why other than people buy what they know. I found out recently that it was my grandad’s favourite variety too!
I also use my own production to grow the unusual fruit and veg never available in the shops. Cucamelon would be a good example here. I have grown from seed and these fun little miniature melon/cucumber/slightly limey fruits are very fun and tasty. Importantly, they are also easy to grow and fun for the kids. Similarly, I grow Padron Peppers because I absolutely adore them and while they can be bought some of the time, they aren’t widely available in the UK.
Whatever you grow, grow it because you will eat or drink it and because you love it. It may also be worth growing varieties you can’t easily buy; I have never understood people selecting Conference Pears or Victoria Plums for example. Perhaps even try growing really unusual crops that you have never seen, let alone eaten.