Is it dreadfully uncool of me to admit to how much pleasure my vegetable garden gives me?
Not so much the back-breaking work of weeding, digging, and—decidedly uncool—fertilising. Although fresh air, exercise and communing with nature do play their part in those past-times. (And, if I’m being honest, much of the hard work is done by my darling hubby.)
I’m thinking more of the ongoing pleasure in seeing things grow. Then there’s the harvest—the joy of organic produce eaten just minutes from being picked from the garden. It surely must be good for us! Then it all seems worthwhile. Even the less-than-supermarket-perfect produce seems to taste so much better.
Right now in the heat of summer Down Under, my garden is overflowing with abundance. (A bit too overflowing—I never seem to allow enough distance between plants). We’ve been eating lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, and zucchini (courgette) for months, with the tomatoes, eggplant (aubergine), capsicums (peppers) and chili now coming into full force. Herbs too are flourishing.
Some years are more successful at our little farm than others. We’re at the mercy of nature as to how well our tomatoes grow, some years we have none. And I’m a gardening incompetent when it comes to small seeds like lettuce, spinach and carrots. I have friends who are very good at saving seed from crop to crop, whereas I’m of the buying seedlings wherever possible persuasion.
For this reason I sometimes wonder whether growing our own is actually cost effective, though the water (we collect our own) and fertiliser (thank you chickens and horses) is “free”. But the taste and satisfaction it gives us is priceless. For the rest of the time we’re lucky to have a good fruit and vegetable market not too far away.
I’ve been interested in vegetable gardening since I was eleven years old when I first grew a crop of green beans and radishes (which I didn’t even like!) Over the years I’ve grown them when possible. However for many years even a pot of herbs on the windowsill was impossible because of where we lived and other demands on time.
In my upcoming May release for Harlequin Romance Conveniently Wed to the Greek I have the opportunity of planting a fictional veggie garden in an upmarket spa resort on a gorgeous Greek island. Now that was fun!
Do you have “green thumbs” when it comes to vegetable gardening? Any disasters? Or do you find it so much easier to shop at the market! I’d love to see your comments.