Acting on an urge to grow his own food, Mark Diacono purchased a 17 acre smallholding in Devon, (Otter Farm) England. Banking on a changing climate and global warming, he decided to plant warmer-weather produce. There's a long article about him on the link above.
In an article in the Observer, he gives his advice on how to grow remarkable fruit and vegetables:-
1. Choosing what to grow: Make a wishlist. Dream. Forget limitations. Let flavour be your guide.
2. Grow what you most like to eat: Follow that wishlist. That's why we grow cherry tomatoes in the main - we love eating them, they are delicious and expensive in the shops.
3. Grow what you can't buy: Supermarket peaches, nectarines and apricots are picked early to keep them firm so their sugars stop developing. They never have the taste of one just picked from the tree at the right moment. Equally, asparagus, sweetcorn, peas and carrots taste sublime from the garden.
4. Grow something unexpected. Mulberries, salsify and quinces don't do well in the supermarket system. He also suggests a subterranean pear (yacon), sweet lemony oca or Egyptian walking onions.
5. Challenge your tastebuds. If you don't like something in the shops, you might find the home grown version delicious.
6. Grow food that's expensive to buy (hence our cherry toms) or asparagus, purple broccoli. You'll save plenty of money.
7. Think seasonally. Don't ignore fruit, greens, salads and nuts from other parts of the year.
8. Quick return. Enjoy quick and easy successes with cut and come again salad leaves for example to give you confidence.
9. Go for diversity. Don't plant too much of one food. Go for a broad range and a mixture of varities. You'll find a big difference between varieties of the same fruit or veg. Some might be easier to repeat next year for example.
10. Aesthetics. Foster your own sense of the beautiful, give your patch importance. Park your chair and have your morning coffee near your crops, feel the pride!
11. Get catalogues. Look through all the catalogues you can find, go to someone who knows what they are doing (a neigbour for example). Remember what you are reading is a menu, just that the service is a bit slower than in a restaurant!
12. Be realistic about your time. Start slow, don't take on too much. There's a lot of difference between four tomato plants and six crops. Take on what you can cope with and add more crops when you get more experienced.
Thank you mark Diacono for those words of wisdom! If you'd like some more of that wisdom in book form, buy 'Veg Patch: River Cottage Handbook No 4' from Amazon.