Sunday, May 8, 2011

Me & My Green Thumb...

I quite enjoy gardening.
    Not all types. Not the 'dig lots and lots and move dirt around but do nothing much else' type, but gardening when I can grow stuff and actually see it growing and then get something from it at the end.

    Which is why I grow a lot of food. I've mentioned before about my dreams for the simple life, and the more I get out in my garden, the more I yearn for my little acreage.

    Over the last couple of weekends, I've been doing a lot of gardening. I've cleared out and harvested a lot of vegies, including 7 lovely butternut pumpkins, lots of very cute little capsicums, and several kilos of tomatoes, including this whopper,

    which we barbecued this morning and ate with our lovely brunch.

    I've also done lots of planting. I've planted a heap of onions (red and brown), as well as garlic, leeks, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, silverbeet, carrots and cabbage.

    There's something very satisfying about picking food from your own backyard and eating it. Not only is it much cheaper than buying it, but it's also much more tasty (even when I buy plants from Bunnings, which I try not to do too often) than the shop-bought stuff, and I know exactly what's gone into growing it. Absolutely no pesticides or even fertiliser (apart from animal poop in the soil - usually from our chooks). Totally organic.

    A while ago, Anthony and I decided that we were going to replace as much as we can in our garden with food-bearing plants. We've got a 1/4 acre block (and a tiny 3 bedroom house), so we've got a fair bit of outdoor space. At the moment, this is what we have:

    Ongoing plants:
    • Apples (5 varieties)
    • Oranges (2 varities - one with about 12 lovely oranges almost ready to pick!)
    • Pears (2 varieties)
    • Cherry 
    • Pomegranite
    • Passionfruit
    • Kiwifruit (no fruit from them yet, but we're hoping for next year1)
    • Almond
    • Blackberry
    • Boysenberry
    • Blueberry
    • Raspberry
    • Strawberry (3 varieties)
    • Red Currant
    • Asparagus
    • Rhubarb
    • Artichoke
    • Parsley
    • Thyme
    • Oregano
    • Marjoram
    • Chives
    • Comfrey
    • Chamomile
    • Lemon Grass
    • Saffron (lovely flowers with the very expensive golden stuff attached!)
    • Silverbeet (it's annual, but keeps self-seeding in the same spot)
    And we also regularly plant:
    • Lettuce
    • Onion
    • Corn
    • Sunflower (actually, they self-seed, you've seen my enormous ones!)
    • Potatoes
    • Tomatoes (they self-seed too, I haven't deliberately planted a tomato seed in at least 5 years!)
    • Capsicums
    • Squash/Pumpkins/Zucchini
    • Basil
    • Chillis
    • Peas/snow peas
    We've also got plans in the future (once we find a place for them!) to plant peaches/apricots, limes, mandarins, black currants, cranberries and hopefully some olives, a mulberry and a walnut tree (although I may have to wait for my big block of land for more trees!)

    As I said, something very satisfying in growing food. And people don't usually mind taking the extras off my hands (although I did have trouble offloading my squash this year!).

    The more I do it, the more I wish I had a job like Jackie French. You know, writing books or newspaper columns and spending the rest of my time pottering around the garden. I guess I have to hone my writing skills a bit, but it is possible! I'm making it my '45 plan'. I'll tell you about that next...

    Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood.
    Daniel Burnham


    1. I'm so jealous of your garden! Every night I go out and grab fresh parsley to sprinkle all over my food, I'm addicted to it!

      I can't wait to finally have a decent vegie garden going. Even a decent herb garden would be satisfactory!

    2. Wow that is awesome Mel, With our litle space I am looking at eventually getting a herb garden going, with maybe a few small vegie plants. Oh and also, always happy to take any excess off your hands!!(except squash!!) And those tomatoes were YUMMY!!! My Dad grows a few vegies too, and nothing beats them fresh from the garden!!!!

      P.S It was really nice to have you guys over today and Happy Mothers Day- I know it's a bitter sweet time for you. Laura xoxo

    3. Nice to read about your garden, seems similar to mine, regarding the Walnut Tree, i think they are the ones that give off growth retardant in the roots to stop anything else growing under it, so you would have to be careful with placement. Can i ask which tomatoes you have? i am looking for some that self seed.

    4. I have read much more of your blog now, and i am very sad for your loss of Sam, life can sometimes be so cruel :(

    5. Hi Milsy, the tomatoes I have are a mixture of Tommy Toes, Amish Paste, Mortgage Lifter and I think zebras. I bought the seeds from Diggers a few years back, and they just keep coming up. You can find them here:


    I love comments!