For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Sep 24

Your Questions About Gardening

Maria asks…

Did everyone grow their own food in England in 1700 – 1800?

Did everyone grow their own food? If not, where did it come from?

I have been stuck on this question for ages. I’ve searched and searched but I haven’t found anything. Either that or I just accidentally missed a bit where I could of gotten the answer from…

GardenersCardiff answers:

Markets were a central part of life in England during that time. Commerce and society were pretty much tied to the city market places, and the cities were starting to grow more and more crowded. A lot of the commerce was agricultural, which makes sense when you consider that everyone living in the city would have had very small (if any) parcels of land on which to grow food/animals. They would have had to trade goods and services at the market for food, or buy food stuff with their cash (money had been around a long time by then).
Most reference books will talk about the markets of 18th century England, and you can make the logical connections between that information and your question.

Helen asks…

what do I need to Grow organic food?

If I wanted to start up my own business growing organic food, what equipment and resources would I need?

and what things do I need that are specifically used for growing organic food and not regular farming.

GardenersCardiff answers:

If you would like to start your own business growing organic food, there are certain federal requirements that need to be met in the growing, processing, marketing and labeling of the food.

In 1990, the U.S. Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) which mandated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would regulate organic foods. Also, the National Organic Program (NOP) has regulations regarding labeling and certification of organic foods.

“Any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced must adhere to the national organic standards.” There are penalties of up to $11,000 for selling food as organic that isn’t up to their standards.

It also requires that “Land will have no prohibited substances applied to it for at least 3 years before the harvest of an organic crop.” So it’s not just what you do from now on — but what someone else may have done to the land before then.

Here are links to the National Organic Program:

Fact Sheets / Background Information:

Consumer Information:

General Index of Information on their site:

There is an exception to the requirement of being certified, which applies to small growers (less than $5,000 worth of organic product). Here is the link to the Questions and Answers about it:

There may also be laws and regulations imposed by the particular state where you are located.

Most (if not all) states have a state “Extension Service” which provides free information to their citizens on various questions and issues regarding growing plants, trees, crops of all types. You may want to contact them to get more specific information and help. Here is the link to your state’s service:


One more suggestion: CCOF is an organization which promotes and supports organic food production. You may find their site helpful also. Here is the link:

Of course, if you are growing organic food for yourself and not selling it, you don’t have to comply with their regulations!

Also, remember that the Small Business Administration provides invaluable information for anyone starting a new business of almost any type!


If you are interested in learning more about growing organic food, in general, there are many good websites out there. Here are some good ones:

1. Rodale –

2. Starting an organic garden:

3. Some basics of organic gardening:,,s1-2,00.html

4. A simple explanation and tips:

5. University of Florida’s website on Organic Gardening:

Good luck! I hope that this may be helpful to you (and possibly other readers). There is a definite expanding market out there if you decide to go for it!


After I wrote my answer, I noticed several good folks writing about organic gardening resources in the UK. Perhaps, I may have missed something in your profile about where you were located? Are you from the UK?

(Although much of what I referenced is applicable to the USA, some of the sites I mentioned still may be helpful in many different regions. )

Susan asks…

Is it possible to grow your own food?

Well, I was thinking to grow some veggies on my garden, I already have 2 chili plants that I use when preparing chili con carne and on April I would like to grow different veggies on my garden! I also would like to know if is possible to grow a lobster and then boil it.

GardenersCardiff answers:

Yes it is, I used to have a pretty large garden until it became too much for me.
Until you mentioned growing a lobster I thought this was going to be a sensible question.
You failed

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