Absolutely love this photo… I blinked and Mackenzie was no longer a baby. She is “big” now! Back when this photo was taken (2 years ago) my own veggie garden was only a dream. But today I have my own urban farm being created step by step at our own house.
I love what the garden can teach children! It so much more than an appreciation for where our food comes from. Growing food is also about patience, attention, seasons, weather, diversity, nurturing, surprise, anticipating, disappointment, abundance, sustainability and hard work (to name just a few).
I thought I might share with you a little bit about our garden and how we have made a start on putting together our own little urban farm. We pretty much have started with a blank slate. When we moved into our house last July we had a large block with a little very tired landscaping, a few crappy plants and 10 years worth of weeds. Oh…. and also a very neglected cubby house that James and my Dad beautifully restored.
I started with filling and planting out the raised garden bed a transported from our old house. Some people would think I was crazy but all the soil, I had lovingly layered into the bed, I shovelled it into bags and moved with our furniture in the removals truck. This bed is in a lovely north aspect position and gets so much sunshine all day. I had so much success over summer with tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs in this bed. It was a great way to start off the garden at the new place and the handy location of this bed (near the front door) meant it was easy to tend and harvest (even with a new born baby).
Next we built a lovely new deck on the back of our house and had some raised beds built at the base of the stairs (down to the garden) and along the fence. These beds were completed and planted out at the start of summer and have provided us with an abundance of herbs, zucchinis, corn, greens, peppers, eggplants and ox heart tomatoes. They have been a huge success.
As summer turned into Autumn I stated on a new garden project. Converting a large, dry, raised rockery garden bed into a mixed productive bed. Once a garden wasteland, neglected and sad, this bed is now full to the brim with herbs, veggies and masses of strawberry plants. I painstakingly constructed three large obelisk trellises made from hardwood garden stakes and stained black to match the treated pine raised beds. I am really happy with how these turned out. They provide some visual interest and hight to the bed and act as a sturdy structure for beans and snow peas.
I would love to hear your garden transformation stories and your experience of gardening with kids.