THE food consumed each year in the UK has been transported 18 BILLION MILES. That adds up to a lot of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere by lorries, cars, vans and planes - an estimated 19 million tonnes in total. And two million tonnes of this is produced by cars travelling to and from the shops. These figures could be dramatically reduced simply by thinking about the food we buy and choosing products that are in season and grown locally. There is no better way to do this than by growing your own. Whether you have a large vegetable plot or just a few planters, growing vegetables, fruit and herbs is satisfying and healthy. There are many benefits of growing your own such as: # Improving your family's health: When growing fruit and vegetables yourself and eating them fresh, their vitamin content will be at their highest levels. # Saving money on your shopping bill: Your bill will shrink as you begin to stock your fridge with fresh produce. # Reducing your environmental footprint: Cutting car journeys to the shops will prevent less pollution being pumped into the world. # Reducing food waste: When it is your produce, you are less likely to take it for granted and more likely to eat it before it goes rotten. And it's not too late to start growing your own. Even though spring is well under way, there are plenty of fruit and vegetable seeds that can still be sown. May and June are a good time to plant beetroot, French, broad and runner beans, sweetcorn and courgettes. These will be ready to harvest from August. ********** IF growing your own is not your thing, then why not visit one of Huntingdonshire's five certified farmers' markets. Each is different to your traditional market as the food on sale is from the local area - no more then 30 miles away - and sold by the people who grew or produced it. As well as a great place for sourcing local fruit and vegetables, the markets also sell beef, soups, plants and delicious treats. You will have peace of mind that the produce is of top quality so tastes excellent and that the environmental footprint of your purchases is of little impact. Farmers' Markets take place on the following days and times: # Huntingdon - Every other Friday 8am to 2pm # Ramsey - Every fourth Saturday in the month 8am-2pm # St Ives - First and third Saturday of the month 8.30am to 2pm # St Neots - Second and fourth Saturday of the month 8am to 1pm INFORMATION: Visit www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk for more details on farmers' markets.