Friday, May 4, 2012

Growing Food

I've always dreamt of growing my own food. As a child, for 9 months of the year, squashed in a small inner city European apartment, I dreamt of the 3 blissful summer months my brother and I'd spend with our grandparents. They had a small house and a small orchard on the outskirts of a different city 700km away. Whilst most of my friends went to the coast for 2 or 3 weeks then wandered around the quiet and hot city during those summers, my brother and I enjoyed playing in the shade of a huge walnut tree in our grandparents garden, or picking cherries in the orchard, or feeding chickens and ducks, or braiding garlic in the shed with granddad, or helping make jam and preserves with the women or learning to drive a tractor. My granddad was an agriculture lecturer and even then he taught about compost, permaculture and natural pest control. He used to say that "if a bug likes it, it is good for you". Luckily, we loved our fruit and veggies and the nan would often get angry with granddad because we'd fill up on peaches, apricots, cucumbers and tomatoes whilst helping around, so at lunch time we'd hardly touch any food on our plates.
patch of dirt waiting for our veggie garden beds

So when we bought our house, it was really the backyard that sold it to us. We saw the potential to grow our own food, and whilst it took a bit of time to get to that stage, come spring, we'll be planting our first veggies. On Bella's first birthday we planted citrus trees (lemons, mandarines, oranges), then a mango tree and pomegranate bush and grape vine. This year we had our first 'crop' of mangoes - if two giant fruits can be called a crop! The taste was amazing! The citrus fruit is lovely and tangy, just the way it's meant to taste (Bella's friend recently declared that our mandarines are "the tastiest in the world") and the pomegranates were bursting with flavour.
Mango happy

I can't wait to start planting the veggies - I've bought packets of organic seeds and am already reading up on permaculture, organic pest control and companion planting. And, of course, no veggie garden is complete without a few chickens, so Bella and her dad are already planning on building a 'cluckingham palace' for them.
Happy Friday xxx


  1. Nothing better than your own home-grown vegetables and it's always so rewarding checking their progress and pottering in the garden. We just put a new lot of vegetables in over the past weekend and I'm so glad we've had all the rain we have had today to help them along. Enjoy your weekend xx

  2. Having your own space to grow your own vegetables is so nice and then when they are ready to pick the feeling is just one of being so proud. I'm not the most serious gardener but I always have something that I am growing and each time something can be picked I'm amazed that I actually grew it myself. Enjoy your new veggie patch and those chickens too:) xx



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