decorating / homefront · it's all about me · kitchen capers · shopping / or not

Grow your own adventure

Being fifty-something, I’ve taken a renewed interest in where our food is sourced, who grows it and how it arrives in my fridge.

We’ve been exploring farmers markets, trying to buy more local produce, frequenting our local green grocer and generally trying to avoid supermarket shopping where we can.

This year we decided to take it a step further and embark on a “grow your own” adventure to re-acquaint ourselves with the process of growing and the effort that goes into tending veggie plants in the urban garden.

urban gardener, urban gardening, grow your own

I grew up with parents who loved to garden. We had several fruit trees in our garden, a flourishing rhubarb patch and other seasonal crops of silver beet and the like. When I showed an interest, I remember Dad allocating me a single row in the “patch” and showing me how to sow radish seeds. I now know that radishes are quick-growers that provide gardeners with the gratification of harvest within a short 6-week term. Perfect for the kidlets. Even though kids don’t generally enjoy the flavour of radishes.

When our own kids showed an interest in growing vegetables we were fortunate to have plenty of yard space available. So we chose to grow the “dramatic” crops like sweet corn and pumpkins. The pumpkins were a winner and, like the radishes, provided almost instant gratification … you could literally measure their growth from day to day. And we did.

Now, in our house in the city, we have very little yard space. We decided to sacrifice a share of our handkerchief-sized lawn to house these two big wooden veggie boxes and challenged ourselves to see what we could grow in a smallish urban plot. We’ve promised ourselves that nothing will be wasted … we will harvest and eat every single morsel we grow, or gift to family, friends, neighbours, or swap at a local food swap.

So far we have tomatoes, button squash (cute as buttons!), capsicum, zucchinis, spring onions, purple runner beans and lettuces. Some we’ve grown from seed (*high five) and others we’ve picked up as seedlings. We haven’t lost one yet! Everything is flourishing, thanks to some recent local (and unseasonal)  rain.

Here’s a snapshot of how our little grow your own adventure is looking right now:

veg_6 veg_5

veg_4

veg_3

veg_2

We’re about to head off (to paradise) for a holiday and we’re leaving the patch in the care of Boy Wonder, along with very strict instructions about watering.

Yes, I’ve changed. When it comes to the veggie patch, I’m no longer an incidental gardener. I’m more your standing guard-with-the-threat-of-death-should-you-touch-my-plants gardener.

We’ve even blanketed the patch in a protective layer of pea straw today, just to help keep all the little plants feeling loved while we’re away.

Can’t wait to get back and start reaping what we sowed.

grow your own, urban gardening

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10 thoughts on “Grow your own adventure

  1. Since our children grew up we have had time to devote to our garden. One of the things that attracted us to our present house are the established gardens. There is a terrace area with raised beds that we are turning to vegetables and fruit. We planted our first citrus trees this week. Joy!

  2. Hi Sheryl, it looks like your garden is blooming as wonderfully as you are. I relate to the need to document and experience life at this stage. I’m glad I found your blog. I’m sorry about your loss of Gay and I’m glad that you found a way to include her in your ongoing adventures. It is tough to lose friends and family and it seems to happen so much more frequently these days. That’s why I like the garden as well. Besides the tasty produce, it reminds me about the renewal in life. Glad I found your blog and I’ll be back to see what new adventures you are finding.

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Laurie. We’re just back from an adventure in the tropics (beautiful Bali) and I’m feeling even more inspired by the greenery and traditions we found there … religious beliefs in the villages are closely connected to harvest, fertility and renewal, all underpinned by a conviction that with those things comes a good life (and afterlife). Truth. Am heading over to check out your blog … looks VERY interesting! S. 🙂

      1. Wow, that would be awesome! My podcast numbers are climbing, but the blog itself has been pretty much me and the crickets lately 🙂 I’ve never been to Bali, just Hawaii. That is really interesting about the traditions and beliefs. I think the closer we are to nature the more in rhythm we become. I also enjoy visiting other places and learning about cultures, so even though I am at home at the moment, it is wonderful to be able to piggy-back on your experience and imagine what Bali is like. I’ll have to leave this comment to go look up some photos of Bali!

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