Saturday 1st February 2014
Today the beginnings of what will become the sumptuous kitchen garden were sown. Until recently vegetable growing has been the domain of the MOTH (man of the house) and for years hydroponics have provided a steady supply of salad goodies. The pleasure was two fold: the enjoyment of growing the food and the wonder of munching organically grown food. In more upbeat gardening parlance we were caretakers of a jardin potager (a kitchen garden).
Last year we took advantage of the pavement clean up day to dismantle the hydroponics systems. The system and dozens of buckets played host to so many weed and grass varieties they looked almost picturesque. Sadly, it had become too much to maintain on top of the thirteen smaller gardens around the home. The backyard clean up took two or three weekends, a lot of effort in hot weather, but the bonus is that we’re no longer afraid to venture into that part of the garden. This clean up happened in October. Since then homegrown vegetables have been restricted to more manageable hydroponic containers fitted with timers that set small water pumps going at regular intervals through the day.
A number of events and health issues have kept me out of the garden for some years and getting back into it has been slow. One never forgets how good it feels to dig fingers into the good earth and the satisfaction of a day’s gardening. Aching muscles, sore fingers and wrists are worth the effort and pain to be able to sit back, with a glass of something pink and bubbly, and enjoy the garden.
The vegetable garden has been downsized from a wild corner of the property to a patch small enough to maintain yet a good size to supplement the grocery bill. This patch has been reallocated to me although with the frequent supervision and helpful suggestions from the MOTH, I can be forgiven for having to remind myself of this … often.
After weeks of faithfully weeding my bequeathed patch, today six little rows of seeds were sown. Gum tree sticks mark the rows and my plan of what is planted where, will help keep me from thinning the beans and leaving the carrots to run riot. Le jardin potager hosts a prolific chilli bush, which has self-sown several seedlings – sage, thyme, parsley, lemon grass and several rhubarb corms (not sure of the terminology for starter clumps). In ten weeks’ time when the green and wax beans, beetroot, carrots, radish, and spring onions are ready for harvest we’ll once again be enjoying home grown veggies. I’m looking forward to freshly stewed rhubarb on my breakfast cereal and some more for dessert with custard.
Very near the top of my gratitude list is our garden: for the pleasure, opportunities it provides to be outdoors and it’s flourishing selection of native shrubs, flowering plants and bulbs that make it a joy to look at. I never grow tired of our garden … it is one of my happy places.
If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying gardening weather I wonder what’s happening in your veggie patch?