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    Homegrown veggies good enough for a royal

    The exciting news of the safe arrival of the latest royal baby has set the world in somewhat of a spin. ‘Oohs’ and ‘aahs’ at adorable photos of baby Archie and his new parents are in abundance, and quite rightly so. He’s beautiful. But did you know that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not only been growing a baby, but also a crop of veggies too?
    Grow your own at home
    Before little Archie arrived, it was announced that Harry and Meghan had installed their very own organic vegetable garden at their Frogmore Cottage home. It seems that they are bang on trend too. Research shows that we are becoming a nation of mini farmers, with more of us growing our own vegetables at home, taking an interest in how food gets to our plates.
    So why the sudden interest?
    Time flies when a new baby arrives. In what feels like the blink of an eye, a newborn baby is six months old and ready to introduce solid foods. Typically, parents are concerned over what and when to introduce solids. Once that is all clear, people want to know what’s really in the food we eat, and how to reduce food miles so that the first tastes their precious babies take, are the freshest and most nutritious for them. It makes sense then to have a plentiful supply of healthy and wholesome vegetables, with no nasties growing right on the doorstep.
    Growing veggies for weaning
    If you’re reading this and expecting a baby in early summer, why not follow the royal example? Use the last of your hands-free time to grow a few foods ready for winter when your little one is ready to tuck in. Health professionals recommend that single plain vegetables such as carrots, peas, courgettes, broccoli and butternut squash be introduced as first foods. So here are a few tips of a few vegetables you can grow at home for delicious, nutritious veggies weaning in six months time.   Cauliflowers – May is probably the last month for sowing cauliflowers. Sow them indoors or out, depending on the weather and move outside once space becomes available. Peas – Early June is probably the last chance to sow maincrop peas. If it’s later in the month, switch to a fast-maturing early variety, which should be ready for harvesting in about September. Root vegetables – Carrots and swedes can now safely be sown outdoors. This is the last chance to sow maincrop varieties of carrots that will be ready for harvesting in September or October. Broccoli – You can sow late sprouting broccoli seeds either where you want to grow them, or in a seedbed ready to transplant later. Depending on the variety, you should be able to harvest them in autumn.  Pumpkins and winter squash – These are usually started off earlier in the year in pots, but they can be planted straight into the ground in June. Prepare the soil by adding lots of compost or manure. What will you grow?        

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