Eating from my back garden


I’m halfway through Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal Vegetable Miracle” and besides being a revelation about many aspects of the food we eat, it’s confirmation that I really am on the right track with my little vegetable garden on the sunny side of my house and my preference for organic foodstuffs where possible.

I won’t spoil it for those who want to read the book, but Kingsolver is a skilled novelist who uses her talent to document the year she and her family spent living off her farm garden and locally produced foods, focussing on seasonal eating.  In the process, she highlights how disconnected we have become from natural processes and the joys of working the land to provide sustenance for one’s self, along with the obvious benefits of eating pasture-raised animals.  Kingsolver also makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and I can’t wait to get my hands on her next book  “The Pleasures of Slow Food”.

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I know I’m never going to supply all the food I need from this little patch of mine, but I’ve read enough about genetically modified crops and pesticides of late to scare me.  These topics could take up several posts, particularly with the ‘seed wars’ going on in protest of large corporations like Monsanto, and I’m no expert on either subject, but the first thing I did was give thanks for what’s already growing in my garden:

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…..  the herbs like this pinapple sage (the sunbirds also love it)

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…..  the tomato plants despite the battle I have with blight

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…..  the Cape gooseberries that will ripen soon

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…..  hot Bell Peppers (above) – sold in the supermarkets as Pepperdews – which were so prolific I gave many away and an assortment of other colourful peppers (below) that will grace my salad bowls soon.

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Then I sourced heirloom seeds and ordered several packets to plant in the spring.  The Echinacea is for my friend Blou for her potions – the flower essences she lovingly concocts for my animals and I and anyone else who is willing to try them 🙂

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One blogger in the WordPress family who has written quite a bit about seeds, self sufficiency and sustainable living is Bridget at fromacountrycottage .  Stop by her blog to read up on her perspective.

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South Africans can order heirloom seeds from here.

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20 thoughts on “Eating from my back garden

  1. I love cape gooseberries, you don’t find them much in the UK except as a ‘dressing’ on top of a dessert, however my daughter has managed to grow them in her allotment – must ask her how they are doing (it was very wet last year and not much survived).

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  2. Mine get very little attention and although the bush is small, it seems to flower for most of the year. I eat them straight off the bush when they ripen but a firm favourite here is gooseberry jam! 🙂 I must look around at the organic markets and see if you can find them dried.

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  3. I’m definitely going to look for those books! I love Livingseeds, but my track record growing things from seed is not very good, partly because my chickens dig everything up!

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  4. Pingback: Super Sweet Award | aristonorganic

    • Hello you! I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it, but it jumped out of the catalogue and said “Blou”. I love the colour of the flowers and have always wanted to plant/own some. If all else fails we can make Country Wine from the flowers – our Druidess version of Elderflower Wine!! 🙂 Heaps of Peninsula love back xxx

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  5. Congratulations, I’ve nominated you for The Super Sweet Blogging Award. If you choose to accept, please go here:
    http://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/the-super-sweet-blogging-award/

    I have just noticed that you have already been nominated for this award, so don’t feel you have to accept this from me – suffice to say I like your blog and hopefully someone who reads mine will come along here too!!
    Have a great weekend,
    Jude xx

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