Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Beginning - How We Came to Grow Veggies

A number of years ago we were in Melbourne staying with the in-laws for holidays and as they have a wonderful veggie garden we would go downstairs and pick salad items for our lunch or dinner.  I thought it was amazing to grow such wonderful food in the back garden and dreamed about doing this ourselves.  We came back to Brisbane and I planted some carrots and we set up a sort of compost heap and neither of them were very successful so I didn't have any confidence at growing vegetables.  I also wanted to get chickens however my marriage was on the rocks and what was the point bringing chickens into that (ha....it was the hassle of are we moving shortly I couldn't handle looking after another thing on my already stressed plate).   Another year later we were back in Melbourne again for my father in law's 70th Birthday and I was still inspired by the lovely home grown potatoes and other foods that we were eating.  While I was there I read lots of gardening books and dreamed about having chickens so we could have fresh eggs.  I went to Borders (which is no longer in Australia anymore) to buy myself some books and I poured over more magazines while I was there.

Back again in Brisbane and sometime later and by this stage my marriage was well and truly over and it was extremely stressful for me on my own with 2 young kids still in the marital home (my dream home) which I knew would have to be sold so I never started the veggie patch because what was the point, we would be selling the house.  The kids and I continued to stay in the house however as you know there is a price to pay for everything and whilst we lived there our lives weren't really our own but that's where we were at.  Some more time passed and I thought I'm just going to do this and stop waiting for the right time.  I went right ahead and bought my veggie boxes from Bunnings, lots of dirt and compost and plants and we set them up and started growing veggies.  All of the other stuff was out of my control but I knew I wanted to start a veggie garden and I was sick of waiting and wondering where we would be living so in April 2010 we set up two little veggie plots.  James was 6 years old and Sienna was 4 by this stage.

It was on Easter Sunday afternoon that my sister and I put  the kids to work and help set up our very first garden that was going to be successful with the right soil.  I might mention 2 months prior to this I did a one day course with 2 of my friends on growing veggies which was held at the Sunshine Coast which was great.  The biggest thing I took away from that day was about the soil.  If you have good soil your veggies will thrive.  Think about a house that needs painting.  You can slap the paint over the top of the old paint and it won't look very good however if you take the time to sand the house first and then apply the paint it will be much better so it's the preparation that's important because once that is done the paint will go smoothly over the top.  The same applies to gardening, if your soil is good then the veggies grow themselves.  We learnt heaps of other things on the day which seemed all very daunting to me on the day but it all fell into place eventually.

We did a layered no dig garden and put down weed mat first and made sure we wore masks to protect ourselves from breathing in the compost.  In one of the bottom photos you can see the gloves the kids wore are too big for them and Sienna's were so big they were just floppy at the end which looked quite funny.

1 comment:

  1. Your little plots look so organised and tidy! Glad to read you just took the plunge and everyone joined in. (Never heard of masks for the compost before ... We must be too cavalier over here!).