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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Grow Your Own Five a Day

image on the right from: Link

For the last few years, at the start of every spring season, I like to do a bit of gardening. That’s a lie. I like to do a lot of gardening. I’m always giving some of my produce to friends and neighbours, and if I do say so myself, I’m kinda the Monty Don of my neighbourhood. For those of you who don’t know, he is to gardening what Mohammed Ali is to boxing. I’ve got a reasonably sized garden and the minute I see a little sun I can’t wait to get outside and start rearranging every summer. I grow a variety of vegetables – spinach being my favourite. Guess my mum’s to blame for that – bribing me to eat a little bit more of my greens with an episode of Popeye the Sailor Man. What kid needed any more incentive than that? I wanted to be just as strong.

So every season I get down to B&Q or Home Base, my local DIY megastores to pick up some seeds: spinach, tomatoes, salad leaves, lettuce, green beans,  courgette, cabbage, and few herb varieties – coriander, of course. Being an impatient kinda guy, I need to see results. Fast. I usually get a few pots of vegetable seedlings - usually tomatoes and peppers which start coming out after 7 to 10 days. This keeps me busy while I wait for the other seeds to germinate.

I guess the outdoors is in my blood. I grew up in a family of commercial farmers. All my grandparents were farmers and I’ve got a handful of uncles, aunties and cousin-brothers in Chipinge, Zimbabwe who are farmers too. For a while I was convinced that all this outdoors, green, self-sufficient stuff wasn’t my thing but as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown to love it. My mum always grew her own vegetables her back yard and she had a small chicken run. Our family didn’t go to the local shop for greens. My mum used to grow this leafy vegetable called covo (Brassica oleracea) which is very resilient and grows through all year round. My mum passed away almost two years ago now and I miss the talks we had about the gardening among other things too. Can’t help but think of her when I look out and spot a few of my plants.

image from: Link

I guess what I’m really trying to say is, be inspired! It’s so relaxing and you’ll keep reaping the rewards. I rarely buy vegetables anymore and I’m even branching out (no pun intended lol) into fruit – pears, apples and plums. Needless to say, my avocado tree is still struggling due to the extreme cold and frost in winter!

My blog is still in its early stages but you can be sure that I’ll keep uploading pictures with my progress. I’d love to hear about your gardening efforts! Anyone else with green fingers?

Selby Blog Pinger