I look around as I am driving and I notice that people spend so much or little time in their gardens growing things to take up space. My first thought is "Why not grow food instead of lawn or at least food rather than plants you can’t eat?"
We are blessed to have lots of green grass here, though it breaks my heart that so many people spray their lawns to achieve the great Australian dream of a weedless lawn.
I often hear people say that “I have no room”, “no time”, “I’m renting so I can’t start growing my own food.”…
I had the same excuses too....
One day this one comment changed my excuses.
“If the money market ever went sour we would be worse off than all those living in Africa as we wouldn’t know how to live off the land.”
I decided to look at my priorities and make time.
My husband and I found a hobby together and we still learn by trial and error.
Mindset changes. Traumas from killing anything I grew had to be rectified with words of affirmation to myself.
I quickly knew that I had to learn how to keep my plants alive.
The first step was they needed water. Don't laugh, I only watered the plants on a hot day.
I learnt from others, YouTube and formed relationships with other vegetable growers and was opened up to a whole new world, who knew you could learn so much about life in the act of gardening.
There is so much out there to learn when you go searching, it’s just great!
Gardening requires patience, water, observation, growing in the right season and moon cycle as well.
I have also learnt that the most important thing is having healthy microbial dense soil just like our health thrives when our gut has the right amount of good bacteria,
Why grow our own food?
1. Our food (if we could call it that) is sprayed with pesticides. You can control what goes into your soil and what is sprayed on your plants or not.
2. You can plant things in season and germinate the seeds on the correct planting days to get maximum results.
I love watching things flower and bloom. We gain an appreciation of where things come from.
Choko or Chayote
3. You save money. I don’t know how many times I have bought a bunch of herbs and found them a few days later in a watery heap at the bottom of the drawer because I forgot about them. With every herb growing at my fingertips I can step out with enjoyment and satisfy any recipe without waste.
4. To build community. You attract or find friends who have the same mindset. You grow some things and share with others who grow other things. I often have pots of extra seedlings ready waiting so when people visit they can take them home to a loving garden.
5. Harvest as you need from the garden for ultimate freshness maximising on the vitamins and minerals.
6. It’s very healing reconnecting to the earth. When I am busy I just allow myself 15 minutes in the garden. Once you start gardening you will find that you want to be out there all the time. Nature truly calls us to self care. I often forget my worries in the garden and also forget that I have something cooking on the stove!!
7. You help to heal the soil when you grow your own food and become mindful of what you put back in the earth. The soil is living and breathing and when we give back more that we take out of the earth our future generations will have good soil to nourish their needs. For example growing plants in succession like beans you add nitrogen to the soil without having to add artificial nitrogen. The bean plants prepare the soil for the heavy feeding crops like kale.
8. Preserve seeds and share
So start with a pot then add another or clear a patch of grass, weeds whatever you need to do. Oh and some weeds are edible as well so don't go spraying them with round up. In fact please avoid using any chemical sprays as they will wash into the ocean, affect the marine life and come back to your plate.
Decide what you would like to eat. It's good to grow things that you like to eat.
Make it a priority and involve the whole family. You will be surprised at how the garden will reward you for the effort you put in.
After a couple of seasons plants will begin to self seed as well. It's exciting to find surprises popping up each season.
I'd love you to share what you are growing or will grow.
Bless your green fingers and happy planting!