My garden inspiration has always been my dad. He is the king of veggie gardens. I remember cold winter days, dressed in my red parka and gum boots, mucking about out in the garden with dad. I remember on hot summer days, him picking the peaches and nectarines up high in the branches for us and little sister eating fruit until she got the runs (bbaahhhaaaa). I have become accustomed to receiving bags of fresh veggies from his garden. I also endure (and love) his constant garden advice, “you should get your tomato seeds in now love” “those beetroot need thinning” “you need to add liquid seaweed/nitrogen/maure/etcetcetc to that love”. It’s one of my favourite things about my dad, his love for the home garden.
His veggie garden at home is epic. Dad always had a decent veggie patch in the back yard but his dreams of being mostly self-sustainable (when it comes to fruit and veggies that is) weren’t quite cutting it with the medium sized plot. So when the opportunity to buy the house behind his and extend his garden came up, he jumped. He claims that it was for investment purposes but almost as soon as the property settled the fence was moved and he began his take over.
He now has multiple levels of veggie mania and there is always something new happening. The girls LOVE pottering around the garden with grandpa and picking various bits of fresh fruit and veggie heaven with him. They know the hot-spots (the blueberry bush, the strawberry patch and the madarin tree) and hit them first every time.
His tomatoes are a force to be reckoned with. I snapped Miss 4 (who is quite tall for her age mind you) with them just to show the height these babies are getting at. I have complete tomato envy and dad loves to grill me on how big his are compared to mine. Bastard!
No garden in his (and my) eyes are complete without some chooks and his of course are pimped out in a left over aviary from the lovely euro man who live in the house before. The chooks are so useful and he really does maximise them. Pooh from their coop is shovelled into the garden to fertilise. He had an amazing discovery a few years back when tomato plants came up, grown straight out of the chook pooh he had dumped and what grew was the hardiest, most transportable tomato plants he had ever seen. I do believe it is saved seeds from these plants that are growing at a massive height in his garden today. The chooks are fed the left over food from the amazing meals that are cooked from the produce their pooh helped to grow. It’s an amazingly effective circle, and is a beauty to watch.
The latest addition has been his pizza oven which was built in, along with an accompanying serving and seating area. This has been enjoyed by us, my sisters and their families. There is nothing better than hanging out on a nice cool evening with my favourite people in the world. Sitting around the heat of the pizza oven, picking herbs and veggies from the garden to put on our pizza dough made by dad. Eating them straight out of the oven hot and cheesy but full of flavour because everything is fresh. Actual heaven!
So if you ever wonder why I’m so garden crazy then blame dad. It’s his fault. But do you know what? I love it. I love the proud look on his face when he talks about what’s fruiting. I love the tours we get when the garden is in full force. Pottering around seeing this and that. I love the generosity he has, providing us with fruit, veggies and seedlings from his saved seed. I love the lessons he is teaching our girls: provide for yourself; growing and caring for things; healthy food; the circle of life; and creating ecosystems. I love the shared interest we have.
So in the words of Austin Powers “dad, take a bow”, you do a pretty shit-hot job!
The Dietitian Mummy