Anmarie from Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

“My greatest inspiration is my family background. I was brought up in an environment where I was surrounded by fruit and vegetables grown by my mom, dad and siblings. I wanted access to fruit and vegetables that I couldn’t find in the supermarket, such as certain fruits that are native to the Caribbean, so i started experimenting with growing tropical fruits in the UK.

I grow fruit and vegetables to help feed my family and friends. Also to teach my children and to bring them up with a sense of independence and self sufficiency.

My backyard garden is about 13 meters by 9 meters, All my fruits and vegetables are grown in containers. But I just acquired an allotment plot which is about 250 sq meters which I have started planting on. I got this community plot in September of this year.

Most of the seeds I grow come from my kitchen, I dry the seeds and reuse

them in my garden. A small proportion of the seeds I use are acquired

from online garden suppliers. I also visit local garden centres to find

exotic or tropical plant suckers.

Finding enough time is difficult at times, as I work and I am a housewife with two young kids who I also homeschool. But the joy of eating fresh-grown food from my own garden and watching my boys enjoying the garden and its produce is extremely gratifying.

I am involved with a women’s group AGMM (Adventist Gospel Medical

Missionaries) which is a group that promotes the use of natural remedies

and caring for people around the world who do not have access to decent

medical care. I do presentations with this group, teaching people how to

start their own garden and how to plant food using simple and cheap

methods of growing fruit and vegetables. I also have a website and

youtube vlog which I use as an avenue for encouraging and helping people to start growing their own produce.

The hardest thing is to start planting, so just start. Work with what

you have, look around your environment and see if there is anything you

can use to make the job of starting easier. Maybe you have people in

your family who would be willing to help, maybe you have kitchen scraps

that you could start using as compost. You would be surprised what you

find once you start looking around you for resources.”