Food for thought | 

Deirdre Reynolds: My attempts to grow-it-yourself landed me in A&E

"Anyhow, one x-ray, two strapped toes and several quid later, lettuce hope this autumn's crop is a good one"
Stock image.

Stock image.

Deirdre Reynolds

GIY sent me to A&E this week.

Not exactly as exciting as US reality show Sex Sent Me to the ER, granted, but who knew growing your own spring onions could be so action-packed?

I definitely don't remember Eamon Ryan warning of broken bones when he was encouraging us to put our south-facing window sills to good use so "we'll have our salads ready to go" in case of food shortages during lockdown.

Although, given the reported rise of domestic injuries in recent years, maybe he should have.

Anyhow, one x-ray, two strapped toes and several quid later, lettuce hope this autumn's crop is a good one.

To be fair, it was a loose slab of concrete in my 'woman shed' that did the damage, but never let the truth stand in the way of a good pun.

At least it's not quite as embarrassing as the injury sustained by Brian May, who was hospitalised in 2020 after tearing the muscles in his backside "to shreds in a moment of overenthusiastic gardening".

But myself and the Queen rocker aren't alone, as figures show how silly accidents about the house soared throughout the pandemic as bored homeworkers dusted down their Black & Deckers to finally knock up those floating shelves or Swedish death clean the attic.

At one point, medics here even called on the government to issue a DIY warning after Connolly Hospital in Dublin saw ladder-related boo-boos triple in the first month of nationwide lockdown.

Presenting their findings in medical journal Bone and Joint Open, researchers argued: "While the goal of this lockdown was to curtail the spread of this deadly pandemic, it appears to have had knock-on effects on the incidence of traumatic injuries in Ireland."

And our neighbours in England were no less accident-prone, with data from the NHS revealing how more than 5,600 people were admitted to hospital after coming into contact with a power tool (chance would be a fine thing) and 2,700 after a run-in with a hand tool in 2020/21.

Certainly, it's a bit ironic to weather a global pandemic without so much as a scratch, only to come undone by a baby gem.

Of course, as potting season winds down, the health benefits of channelling your inner Diarmuid Gavin have been proven to far outweigh the risks.

Apart from the smugness of arriving to friend's house with an armful of rhubarb fresh from the garden or grow bag, 59pc of GIYers here also reported a boost to their mental wellbeing from watching their seeds sprout into a bounty of colourful fruit and veg, according to environmental organisation GIY, which last month welcomed Prince Charles to Grow HQ in Waterford.

Although few could rival the giant head of cabbage cultivated by Oprah in her Hawaii garden, which she showed off on Instagram during lockdown, sharing: "I get a lot of joy from gardening."

Oprah's massive cabbage in her Hawaiian garden

Oprah's massive cabbage in her Hawaiian garden

Amid the worldwide drive for more sustainable food sources, Julia Roberts, Cindy Crawford and Jake Gyllenhaal are just a few more of the celebrities who now grow their own grub.

And, while you probably won't see them flittering the five for a fiver stand for the last of the cherry tomatoes, it's not too late to get your hands dirty this summer.

Just don't be a complete cabbage by ending up in hospital like me.


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