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Leaving a plant in the car's sunroof was something I'd never even considered before today. I was sitting in the car waiting for my mom to finish paying for groceries at a local market, and I thought I'd pop open the sunroof to take a little nap.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the sunroof was that it was filled with flowers. The next thing I noticed was that the sunroof looked like a miniature greenhouse, filled with a thick blanket of bright yellow flowers. I then became a bit more curious about what was in the sunroof, and I noticed my car was actually a greenhouse. No, not a real greenhouse, this car was a hybrid version of the popular style. A car you see on the road everywhere, complete with the little round window on top and a sunroof that can be fully opened. So why did this car need a sunroof in the first place?
Well, the answer came in a roundabout way. I'd mentioned to my dad on a few occasions that I'd bought a greenhouse on eBay, and he'd been asking me if I was going to plant anything in it. He'd been asking that question every couple of months. The greenhouse had been sitting on my driveway for about six months, and I hadn't done anything with it, which probably says a lot. I was more interested in doing something new and fun with the greenhouse, not just another old hobby that would eventually end up in a dustbin.
So one day I was sitting in my car, thinking of a topic for my next post, and I decided to tell my dad that I'd bought a greenhouse on eBay. My dad had been telling me about gardening all of my life. He'd been growing vegetables and herbs on the window sill in his flat since he was a kid. I didn't have a lot of idea about how to begin growing flowers in a home greenhouse, but I'd been doing a bit of research.
It had occurred to me that, with a little more knowledge and equipment, I could grow flowers and vegetables at home that would be almost as good as what you get in a garden centre, and you wouldn't even have to go there to buy ਭੋਜਨ! I'd read somewhere that it's possible to grow tomatoes from seed. The seed that you buy is usually the same as the variety of tomato that is used to make paste, but I wasn't sure if it was possible to grow a hybrid tomato from seed. A hybrid tomato is a cross between two different types of tomato, so the flower from one type of tomato would fertilise the seed from the other type. After all, if you fertilise an eggplant with an apple, you don't expect to get a pear, do you?
Anyway, I bought a packet of tomato seed on eBay, but I didn't have a greenhouse, so I waited until I had one to plant the seed. My dad has a greenhouse, but he doesn't like gardening, so he left it empty most of the time. If I did it on my own, there'd have to be constant watering, and who wants to do that? I decided that I'd do better to pay for a small unit that would be like my dad's greenhouse, but larger. I could grow tomatoes in it and, when they were ready, I could plant the seed from my packet into a pot, pop it in the greenhouse, then plant it out in the garden in the spring. And if it didn't work, the greenhouse would at least protect the seed until the spring arrived.
That's what I did. First, I bought a three-metre-long hosepipe and a plastic pot. Then I sat in the kitchen and read up on all the things you need to grow plants. I found some instructions on how to make tomato compost, which I used in the pot with some ordinary soil from my kitchen floor. The pot, of course, needed to be watertight. I wrapped the hosepipe around the pot, made some holes in it, then put a plastic bag on top of the hosepipe, like an umbrella cover. When I'd done this, I put the pot outside.
It worked like a dream. By next month, my tomatoes were in full flower, producing delicious fruit.
When it comes to gardening, there's something about the whole process that is appealing. Even if you just try to grow tomatoes in the pot and plant them out in the garden, there's a certain magic that happens to the plants themselves. You make them, they grow. In the end, when the fruit is picked, you're left with beautiful, juicy tomatoes. In fact, you can pick a tomato from the plant and eat it – they taste good, even without the need for cheese.
## Chapter 18
**I'M SURE THERE ARE** a lot of people who get their inspiration for cooking from television and magazines, and a certain number of restaurants that give the impression that eating can be made in a haphazard way. But the food I've seen on television is not always the best that I can get at home. It is not the way I cook.I want to cook from what is fresh and wholesome. I want to cook simply. And I want to eat simply, too.
One of the things that attracted me to cooking in the first place is that it's a way of making food that is not only good for us, but good for the environment. When we think of the future of our children, we have to think about how we can feed them. We have to consider how we can provide an environment where they will be able to live for longer. At the moment, we are producing too much food. We are eating too much. We are producing too much fuel, too much energy, to produce too much food. It is an awful lot of energy going into growing food. There are a lot of problems with using energy to grow food. One of the best things we can do is to produce food from food that is already there.
I find myself watching television programmes on health and wellness and thinking, 'I wish I had a little more time to do this!' I have a busy life. I travel to different countries. I live in a beautiful part of the world and I have a home that is a wonderful place to be, but there are things I'm doing that I'm not really enjoying. I really like to enjoy things and spend time with my family. But I am very conscientious about what I eat, and I try to get as much from it as possible. So I'm not eating as much as I might, but it's quality stuff. There are things that I know are good for me, that have been shown to be good for me, and I try to make sure I have those foods in my diet. So, you know, I'm lucky. There's no doubt about that. I've been very fortunate to be healthy and to stay that way.
**John Williams** was born in 1941 and grew up in rural Kent in south-east England. He is an author and a world authority on sustainable agriculture and biodynamic agriculture. He has written numerous books on these subjects and has worked with many prominent and influential people in the world of sustainable agriculture. He established the company Dandelion Farms with his son Jonathan. They grow organic foods and other agricultural products, using a lot of energy-efficient methods, such as solar power. John and his family live on his farm near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.
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**How did you become interested in sustainable farming?