Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Neglected Garden

Sometimes life gets really hectic here - six children, homeschooling, other activities, work, animals, weather, illness, apathy... 'Life' just stands between me and my garden. I know I shouldn't let this happen, because I really, really do enjoy being in the garden, growing food, and I find it very grounding... I also love having an abundance of fresh, organic, home-grown produce!

I have only stolen moments here and there to plant some seedlings or pull/rake the largest areas of weeds or push back the sweet potato vines, cut back the Queensland arrowroot, re-route the rambling pumpkin vines, trim the Madagascar bean vines, and remove spent plants which have done their job of feeding us through winter (kale, mustard, broccoli, mizuna and Chinese cabbage) and were left to flower and spread their seeds through the garden beds.

But sure enough, when I need parsley or cherry tomatoes, leafy greens, beans, a paw paw or some rhubarb, a few stalks of celery, bits and pieces of various herbs and other basics - amongst the wild jungle inside my fenced garden and greenhouse, there they are. Food plants are surviving with no tending from us.

I wouldn't call the garden high-production right now, and I will admit that I've lost plants because I didn't harvest from them, water them or otherwise attend to them for weeks... But while I was getting on with life, my garden was getting on with growing food. Seeds sprouted, sown by previous crops when I was too busy to tidy up - rogue spinach and lettuce plants amongst the gooseberries, tomatoes, herbs and weeds, and even in the path, happy to be transplanted during a rainy afternoon.

A bit of mulch, some garden tools, and a free afternoon or two, and we'll see more space and light in the garden beds. I'll poke a few more seeds in the ground and try not to ignore the patch of earth which faithfully feeds us. And I'll express gratitude to the rain and rich soil which allow me to grow a wild and abundant food garden throughout the busy-ness of life.


Hazel said...

Oooo! I would love to be able to grow pineapples!

Ariad said...

Bel, that sounds alot like my garden at the moment. It amazes me that it goes on growing and producing with so little input from me at times.

Luscious Lea said...

Hasn't the rain been just beautiful! My mint has been loving it. We have just put in a vegie patch so hopefully we'll be enjoying some home grown goodness soon :)

Julze said...

I'm hoping to get some gardening done this weekend. It's my therapy from the business of family life, home-schooling etc.

We are entering another season of drought here in the North of New Zealand)so I've been using grey water to water our garden. It's time consuming but I feel I'm doing good by being resourceful with what I have.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lovely analogy for home education, Bel.

I am enjoying a productive vegetable garden again. Today I sowed some snow peas (a bit late, fingers crossed we'll get something from them) and some carrots, plus asslym between the broccoli. Robin dug me a small garden bed on the way the chook house. :-)

We had about 20mm of rain last night, lovely delicious rain!

Happy harvesting Bel!

Savvy.Womyn said...

So true Bel. My favourite plants are the ones who have self-seeded and come up themselves. They are usually the strongest too.

Ali said...

Oh beautiful pineapple, how lovely! I have just put some in today, lol, it's a two year wait, isn't it?