What foodie doesn’t dream about being able to go and pick produce fresh from the garden and be able to cook with it only moments later? I must admit that I have been lusting over this thought for a great number of years, and now that we have settled into our new house, our section is a blank canvas and we have a wonderful opportunity to start from scratch and create exactly what I want.
Again I am very fortunate to be a product of my environment when it comes to gardening, in addition to cooking. When you think about it, the two really do go hand in hand. Both my parents and my grandparents are avid gardeners and for as long as I can remember they have had veggie gardens producing an abundance of produce fresh for the table. There is something to be said for being able to grow your own food.
I am a great believer that if you want to do something right, and get it right the first time, that it’s all in the preparation. So with that said I needed a plan. I must admit, it was at this point that I started to get giddy with excitement, as I have been looking forward to this moment for so long. I spent a good part of yesterday trying to decide what vegies I needed/wanted to grow, how much space they would require and where I would need to plant them. As a bit of a green thumb I know that there are certain crops that shouldn’t be planted in the same space year after year, so not only do I need to think about space to house everything, but also how I was going to rotate these crops every year.
There are other things to consider as well. Are there merits in going organic? What about using treated pine as opposed to untreated timbers? Raised beds or dig into the ground? Do I want to have dedicated veggie gardens or do I just mix them in with my other plants? A lot to consider, but this is the beauty of being able to grow your own produce, you have the control and decide how your veggies are grown and what you are happy eating, and what you are willing to compromise on (as far as chemicals go).
As for me and our family, we are going to go as clean and green as we can. It makes sense, we have spent the last few years building a Passive Solar home, using sustainable and green materials, that is both healthy for us, and then environment. So why would we compromise when it comes to the food that we are putting into our bodies?
So with that said, I am planning to use Macrocarpa raised beds for the gardens. I am going to compost and make as use as much of our organic waste as we can. I’m not going to go crazy and buy organic seeds, but I am going to try and avoid chemical fertilizers and pest controls were possible. I’m also going to be mindful of where I plant our fruit/veggies to avoid runoff from our treated timber fences, retaining and deck.
I am already on my way. Over the last few weeks I have planted some citrus and feijoa trees. The blueberries went into pots on our retaining wall last summer so I’m expecting those to do well this year. I have replanted my herb garden/planter and within a few months I’m hoping it will be overflowing with fresh herbs ready for salads and the table.
I have purchased a worm farm and will be picking that up in the weekend, along with some worms, so that should provide a bit of food for both the gardens and the lawn (when that goes down).
So watch this space. I’ll post updates with our progress. I’m sure some things will be a raging success and other’s will be trial-and-error, but secretly (or not so secretly) I’m pretty excited and quietly optimistic. Veggies aren’t that hard to grow, and lets face it, they taste so much better fresh. Maybe it’s that added satisfaction that you have grown it yourself that makes them taste so good, hey that’s just the cherry on the top really.