Sunday, November 20, 2011


With food prices continuing to rise and rise (and our income not following suit!) we are trying to grow as much of our own food as possible.

I've always been interested in growing food.  Even as a child, I recall being enthralled with a friend's garden - they managed to grow tomatoes and corn in southern Wellington, tucked into a sunny hillside.  Our garden, on the other hand, was an exposed clay hillside, complete with pine trees and wandering jew.  And wetas.  I vividly remember the wetas!  But I remember helping Dad with a tiny little terrace garden with a small lemon tree, and a wooden compost bin.  Our bee hives gave us more produce.

Nowadays, my interest has deepened.  I wish I could say that it is because I love the taste of home grown.  I do, but that's not it.  Nor is it that I know what has gone on (or rather, not gone on) my food.  I love that too, but that's not why we are growing more.  It is a pure and simple equation.  Cost.  We can produce food for very little cost.  So we are.  As much as we can realistically manage.  My theory is that if we end up with too much, we will barter it for something we can't grow (like flour, or sugar perhaps from a friend in exchange for some beans or tomatoes - I think that's a good bargain!). 

With all this in mind, we recently expanded our garden.  With our landlords permission.  Although they didn't really specify just how BIG we could make it.  We did use some discretion and not take up the whole lawn.  Boyo ended up deciding on the expanded size.  We had a garden 1 x 2.5m.  We've added another piece to that to form an L shape, which is about 2.5 by 1.8 I think...but it is bigger at any rate!  And I've quite happily filled it all up.  7 tomato plants, a zucchini, some beans, spring onions, beetroot, and an assortment of brassicas and it is pretty well full!  The 'old' garden has lettuces, potatoes, and celery.  It doesn't look all that pretty, seeing as we don't have money to edge it properly.  It's got an odd assortment of wooden planks and concrete blocks - basically whatever we could find and make use of around the place.  But it works.  The plants are growing well, and it only cost us a few hours of digging, a bit of hay, and some basic fertiliser.

Here it is:

Old garden is the bit with green stuff at the back, new garden the bit with straw in the front!

Ah, doesn't it look good!?  And this was weeks ago - it looks even better now!



Aynsley said...

Our garden has been extended to for much the same reason. We have planted things that either give us plenty to eat in summer or will "preserve" well for winter. We have planted 8 tomatoes, 2 zuccini, spring onions, lots of basil for pesto, a cucumber and we have just put in the first of the lettuce plants. More to follow in 2weeks. Our berries are growing amazingly well (must send you a photo to show you the cane you sent us last winter!)and our new passionfruit vine will likely fruit this year too. We just picked and froze the last of the winter silverbeet and spinach and the last of the leeks will come out in 2 weeks. It truely does make a difference to our food bill and it is also lovely to wander out and pick something fresh to make dinner with.

MaxineD said...

It certainly does look good IRL, and I am amazed at what you have managed to crowd into it!

Elizabeth said...

So need to do this!!!!!!!!