Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This is NOT a Hobby!

Our vegetable garden is not a hobby!

Pruning roses, maybe.  Planting petunias, perhaps.  But growing vegetables, that is a household chore.  At least in my mind, it is.  My husband doesn't really agree.  He seems to think it is a nice little hobby for Amy to wander out and spend an hour (or so) in the garden weeding, digging, squashing, planting, and harvesting.  The thing is, he shares in the provision.  While sitting on his bum.  Now, don't get me wrong, Boyo does plenty of other things around the house.  But he hates gardening!  So it always ends up that I do it in my 'spare' time, which of course then means I don't actually ever HAVE any spare time.

I think the vegetable garden should be a chore.  Equal with washing laundry, doing dishes, vacuuming, and mowing the lawns.  It provides amazing food for us, which none of those other occupations can claim, so why is it relegated to a lesser position?!  It might be different if we didn't need the food, if I did just do it because I love it.  But I don't love weeding.  Really.  Who does?  I would rather knit.  Or read a book.  Or just sit and eat cherry tomatoes straight off the vine!  Our garden provides us with wholesome, cheap food.

The vege garden is also a household expense (yes, it has a designated amount put aside for it every month now!).  I've been really slack with this in the past.  I'd somehow expect my garden to produce bountiful food, but without me spending a cent on it.  The soil was terrible, I had no support for climbing plants, and I didn't keep up with the weeding.  It went to rack and ruin, and I wondered why I only got three beans off my bean plant before it shrivelled up and died. 

What I've realised is that if you want to produce a harvest, you need to prepare the soil.  Most important.  Boring, yes.  Tedious, yup.  But necessary.

So this time round I am investing some time and money into our vegetable garden, and I think the results speak for themselves.  I've not put much in really, just a bit of mineral and organic fertiliser, some hay mulch and some stakes (banged in by Boyo).  Boyo and I now have a (tentative!) arrangement that he will do more housework rather than helping in the garden.  He is happier doing that but I'm also happier as I feel like we are giving the garden the value it deserves.  Hopefully that will free up a little more time for me to maximise the provision our vegetables give!



MaxineD said...

Looking good Amy - way ahead of my garden!! My beans do have some flowers now :-)

Elizabeth said...

Great idea... I have to admit to not being a gardener either, so IF we have a garden it is left to Luke to do!