"Shopping in the Garden" was a survey run for the first time in 2015 to record what insect-pollinated fruits and vegetables were being successfully grown in UK gardens and allotments. By comparing the yields data you record from your crops as you pick them, and comparing it to the price of similar fruits and vegetables available for sale, we can get an idea of the value of bee pollination to growing your own.

This will be quite a blunt measure, but if this works as a scheme then we could be set to develop a larger monitoring programme, recording what gardens in the UK grow on a much larger scale.

What information are we looking for?

The data to be recorded will vary by which sort of crop it is, but in general:

  • For fruit: the weight of the crop, plus numbers where sensible (e.g. counting large fruit like apples but not small fruit like redcurrants or gooseberries).

  • For vegetables: the weight of the crop and, depending on what is the grown, the number of pods or number of beans/peas. You only need to worry about counting e.g. the number of beans in a pod if you would normally take them out to eat anyway, like broad beans – don’t worry about seed numbers in the mangetout!

There are a couple of other questions to consider for each crop type as well, such as whether these are typical yields for you, and what you do with the crops afterwards (e.g. are they destined for for jam/chutney, or to be eaten fresh?).

The survey ran until the end of October 2015, and we are analysing the results. Many thanks to everyone who took part.

A garden picture
Happy growing!