Growing and Gathering is all about leveraging the best use of your garden, to be as self sustainable as possible.
There are so many benefits to using the land you have to grow your own crops.
- Everything tastes better
- You save money
- You witness the process of your food growing from seed to plate
- You can enjoy the therapeutic process of nurturing your garden into production
If you can sacrifice the ornamental qualities of your garden, even just a little bit, there is so much to gain!
There is nothing better than going out into your own garden to pick fresh produce for dinner, that you grew with your own fair hands.
Why not make the best use of the plot you have and reap the benefits for you and your family?
Our Growing and Gathering Story
We made the decision to grow as many edible crops as was possible and practical in our garden. Our mantra is “where there is room for garden, there is room for food”.
With a 1/4 acre plot of land it just seemed so pointless to plant it all out in grass and ornamentals so we could ‘look at it’.
Don’t get me wrong, I get a great deal of pleasure out of seeing beautifully planted gardens. My garden before this one was a finely planted, clipped and cared for Italian Formal Garden.
But when we moved from that home with it’s 400 square meter section to this larger plot I started thinking about the extra space and wondered where we could drop in a few fruiting plants. With that thought the seed was planted (mind the pun) for expanding the vision into something that was a balance between form and function.
So we created a plan for a predominantly edible garden.
We built our garden and planted everything from scratch so it has taken us a while to get here. 6 years of hard work and our garden is still evolving.
The most recent plans involve opening up even more of our lawn area for planter boxes. We are lucky that the placement of our house naturally splits the garden up into a ‘living’ garden area and a ‘working’ garden area. This second area is where the lawn will be mostly boxed over to create a grid of planter boxes. It will end up looking a little like this, but not quite as flash:
We are also finishing off pushing the front fence out closer to the curb so we can reclaim the massive front lawn for an orchard.
The thing is, we are constantly looking for new ways to work in more edibles crops in spaces that might otherwise be redundant. It’s amazing just what you can do when you put your mind to it and using edible plants more creatively has been just part of the fun.
There were a number of reasons, as mentioned in the benefits above, for why we decided to make our garden edible but the main ones are:
- We wanted our children to have easy access to fruit and vegetables like we used to when we were kids
- We wanted to have control over the chemicals we are consuming on what should be fresh, clean food
- We wanted to save money on the cost of our groceries by growing our own fruit and vegetables
- We wanted to make the best use of our site by making it productive rather than just growing ornamental plants
- We wanted to enjoy the taste of fruit like it ‘used to be’ from the old orchards or neighbours that we would pick from as kids
The funny thing is, there was a time when I used to roll my eyes at the letters my Gran would send me telling me all about her garden. I couldn’t think of anything more dull to talk about.
Now I can’t imagine ever having been without my treasured hobby and I wish she were still here to help me out. She was an incredible gardener and now I understand what her buzz was all about.
My hope is to pass on this love, eventually, to my own daughter, and watch her learn to enjoy our garden as we do.
This journey is one of learning and I hope you will join me as I continue to grow, and gather, and discover more and more about the wonders of edible gardening.
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