Saturday, 19 July 2008

1st time veggie grower

Well I am certainly a convert! My veggie adventures began back in March when I started sowing some seeds indoors. Having read some books I was more confused than ever because they all seem to give conflicting advice. So with some help and tips from the ladies on the Green Parent Forum I began sowing. I don’t know if it was beginner’s luck but everything I sowed germinated and grew!!! Not knowing this, I sowed all the courgette seeds in the packet and ended up with 19 courgette seedlings. I thought that was great until I read that when planted out they should have 3ft between them! I subsequently planted 3 in borders, 2 in pots and freecycled the rest.

The first harvest we had was naturally cress. Maia was amazed by this and both girls would actually pull it out of the containers and eat handfuls of it at a time. It was also a really lovely gift to give family members at Easter. Going through the germinating stage was amazing – in fact I could very easily be accused of becoming evangelical about it. Seeing all the different types of seeds, the length of germination, the type of first leaves to come through – it really was like magic. Every morning Maia would run in and lift the lids to see what had happened in the night – you could almost see them growing as you watched. I have to admit I was as excited as Maia.

At that time we were having the back of our house excavated so I couldn’t really imagine where any of these seedlings were going to go. Diggers, mud, bobcats, mud, workmen and yet more mud!!!!!

However, after a few very hard weeks work we had something approximating a garden. Luckily we had a guy working with us who’s interested in self-sufficiency and very handy and green fingered. He gave us loads of great advice, lent me some great books (including John Seymour’s bible to self-sufficiency, and a great recipe for damson/stout liqueur – will be looking forward to that later in the year if my mum’s damson tree produces this year!). So finally I was ready to make my veggie bed – not big enough I realise now but we all have to start somewhere. And here it is today:

With all the wet weather we’ve been having, and the in-laws staying with us, I’ve not been out in the garden much for the last couple of weeks. Heading out the last couple of days I’ve been delighted to see that everything is producing!!! Broad beans pods, runner bean pods, radishes, lettuces and I even found a tiny green tomato which along with the basil that’s just come through may make a lovely late summer lunch.

The lettuce and nasturtiums have featured heavily in our diet the last few weeks- and as you can see the slugs too! The girls think it’s great that they can just go outside and pick things to eat, although that has also resulted in us having no red strawberries because Cassia picked and ate them all green – yuk!

Here’s to lots of summer sun to ripen all the produce and make for a great harvest.


nocton4 said...

great photos, wonderful veggies ... you gonna have a amazing harvest time.

Ingrid said...

Just found your blog. Lovely stories. Lovely garden pictures. As an ex-pat, In understand your feelings about being away. I love your ability in being able to just run up something on the sewing machine.

Laura said...

Wow. Your veggie bed looks great! It looks like you've done really well, growing a lot in a smallish space.
We made the same mistake - planting loads of seeds in the hope that some would germinate and they nearly all did. We're overrun with chard and kale! This is our first year too. Its great to see how another first time veggie grower is getting on. :)