Learning the art of growing our own food
The decision to get started..
Having an edible garden has always been something i aspired to being able to do but the prospect seemed overwhelming. There seem to be so many rules about what you should and should not do, which plants to put with which, when to plant, how to avoid pests, pH, soil quality etc etc. The list of requirements seemed endless.
We also don't have a lot of land for vegetable gardening so the prospect of being able to do so had never fully entered my conscience.
Recently, however, we decided that it was important for our ourselves and our children to acquire the skills of growing edible plants, vegetables etc, so we took the plunge. We did a bit of research in books and online as to what we could grow vertically and what we could grow in season etc.
I figured that we'd start off small and learn from our mistakes rather than spending a fortune on everything and risking massive failure. When we see what works well and what we need to do to be successful we can then expand. I am also hoping we can use the seeds from existing to create new ones.
Finding the space...
We then bought some large containers and put them onto our deck. We filled the pots with organic compost, straw and manure.
We also removed our sandpit that the kids no longer used and prepared that for planting. We took a trip to Ceres Environmental Park and chose some vegetables and fruits etc for planting.We bought tomato seeds, seedlings of coriander, oregano, basil, beetroot, carrot, zucchini, egg plant, capsicum, snow peas, broad beans, strawberries, blueberries and a raspberry bush.. oh and some pumpkin seedlings.
On one stormy afternoon we braved the ferocious winds and headed out to plant the seedlings for fear they would die in the heat and wind if we did not get them in. The containers were so small the soil kept drying out on us. Dirt continuously spraying into our faces and it was very unpleasant until one of the boys fetched our swimming goggles. This made the process a whole lot easier. We could actually see what we were doing. This must have been the funniest sight for anyone watching, although i doubt anyone would have seen us as the weather was so bad no one in their right mind would have gone out in that weather.
Unfortunately we ran out of time to plant the herbs and these subsequently died the following week despite our best efforts to keep them well watered and alive.
I'll be sharing our progress as we go along but if you have experience with growing food and would like to share your learnings, we'd love to hear.
- Jenny Trezise