Growing my own food has always been something that appeals; I like gardening and I love how different it tastes to shop bought food. I loved watching Alys Fowlers gardening show The Edible Garden when it was on and grew what I could in our little east facing garden; I grew my own peas, strawberries and chillies and they did well. It was her adorable little jack russell that finally convinced Stu that was the breed for us but it also left me thinking I wanted to grow more. Having had the taste of food fresh from the garden, I wanted a proper veggie patch.
I’ve been on the allotment waiting list for three years, ready to grow as much of my own food as time will allow now that I have two little ones. The waiting list here was 3 1/2 years when I joined but it’s now 6 years long. During a run last week I stumbled across a community garden project offering free beds so I jumped at the chance, it’s not as secure as an allotment but it has a nice friendly feel. I spent the weekend digging out some space and planted some seeds and small plants.
I tried to choose fruits and vegetables that I use regularly so I’ve started with:
- swiss chard
- pak choi
I know I might be a bit late for some of them but it was worth risking for the price of some seeds. There’s also a little woodlands area that needs a little bit of love so I’m growing foxgloves and primula from seed too. All of them have popped up so I just have to wait and see how they all grow.
Gardening is something that I love doing with Annie, we’ve planted sunflowers and sweetpeas at home for the past few years and she helps out with the watering of all our plants. Evan’s just that little bit too young yet but helps out with watering too, though he prefers getting muddy and jumping in puddles. I took him to see the veggie patch with Annie and she was showing him what everyone was growing while he was shouting ‘Wow’ at it all, but his favourite part was walking up the lane to see a horse and finding a few big puddles to jump in.
Getting Annie involved with our first family veggie patch is something I’m aiming for and I like that her first experience of it will be with lots of different types of people all trying to grow together. She loved getting to know everyone and seeing what they’re all growing, she’s been helping me water the plants and spotting new seedlings. Who knows, I might even succeed in getting her to eat some of it!