Sunday, April 4, 2010

Brits Take the One Pot Pledge to 'Give Growing a Go'

by Jennifer Hattam, Istanbul, Turkey

The many U.K. residents who reportedly lack the confidence to grow their own food are being encouraged to start small by the nationwide One Pot Pledge campaign, which is asking Brits to sign up to grow just one edible plant this year -- and recruiting "gardening gurus"to help mentor the newbies along.

"Despite the surge in interest in 'grow your own,' many newcomers -- although keen to have a go -- still don't know where to start when it comes to food growing. Many are put off because they think they don't have space to garden, or because they don't have the time or knowledge," the organizers wrote in a recent release about the campaign.

Weathering the Financial Crisis Through Self Sufficiency

An unrelated survey last fall by the Soil Association showed that while "92 percent of Brits say that self sufficiency and traditional skills like growing your own food, crafting, and rearing your own livestock have become more and more important during the financial crisis," few felt equipped to introduce such habits into their own lives:

Lack of confidence in their skills could be holding Brits back from taking the plunge towards self sufficiency, with half admitting they have lost the practical skills of their grandparent's generation -- 45 percent admit they have fewer cooking skills, 47 percent say they are less able to grow their own food, 48 percent have lost the rural craft skills that make self sufficiency possible, and 51 percent say they would have no idea how to rear animals.

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