Meet Aaron Greco, who, despite a Greek-sounding surname, has some Italian blood flowing in his veins. His gardening journey started at a young age when his grandad, a gardener with an allotment, sowed the ‘grower’ seed in him. Aaron remembers many happy memories of going down to the allotment and helping as much as possible, digging up potatoes and picking beans and tomatoes. But, as the years went on, he lost his love for gardening, and it wasn’t until the lockdown in 2020 that he decided to start again.
First, he built five raised beds out of old pallets to start growing vegetables for self-sufficiency. He wanted to create the beds at no cost, so sourcing pallets from strangers and collecting the soil for filling them was one of the first tasks to tackle.
Aaron studied photography at University and uses his creative mindset when gardening. His pair of raised planters from old car tires was featured on BBC Gardeners’ World, showcasing his unconventional approach. With that, the beginning of the new adventure started – growing as much fruit and veg as possible.
“It tastes so much better than shop-bought, and it just feels a lot more rewarding,” he says.
Nowadays, Aaron doesn’t just grow vegetable plants for himself but also for a monthly sale at a local village market. When you enjoy growing plants, why not share that love with the local community? Aaron says his most popular plant to grow and sell would be Roma Italian tomato. His passion for this variety comes primarily because of his Italian heritage. Plus, people adore the taste of homegrown tomatoes. If you’ve not tried this variety yet, it’s one of the best for sauces and canning due to its dense flesh and few watery seeds.
To keep his skills sharp, muscles engaged, and on top of botanical knowledge, when he’s not selling or growing plants, he’s out and about, helping maintain other people’s gardens. Many people would say gardening is great for their mental health, and Aaron agrees. Getting your hands dirty in the soil boosts your serotonin levels, making you happier. In addition, healthy soil contains good old protozoa, single-cell organisms with excellent anti-inflammatory properties, keeping our minds and bodies in good shape.
Beyond a healthy lifestyle, Aaron’s gardening journey has inspired passion and an open mind for learning new tips and tricks.