Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I am dreaming of a Vegetable Patch

I am dreaming of a vegetable patch. A rambling flourishing patch of paradise where we can go choose what’s for dinner and dessert. With pumpkins and strawberries lazily scattered between neat rows of lettuce & tomatoes bursting with ripeness on a vine. My vision is so romantic, effortless and alive!

The dilemma? I’m just not very good at it - I really have no clue. The zucchini grew zucchini flowers but then died away; the replanting of the runner beans must have tortured the poor things. Jack won’t be climbing up my beanstalk anytime soon. Something ate the Basil and the pumpkin…lets just not talk about it…

I dreamt, I planted seeds…I was perhaps a little over ambitious. The truth that I actually downloaded a how to grow a vegetable garden app. on my Iphone speaks volumes about the city girl within. On my bedside though is a gorgeous English encyclopaedia titled ‘How to be Self Sufficient’…I am now studying to find my country roots.

I was fascinated to learn that the legend who wrote this book actually started a school on how to be self sufficient in Ireland for novice unlearned city folk like me. What was really fascinating was that the person who co wrote the book was a student of the Guru and ended up having children with the guru’s wife..It seems a lot of complicated passionate love was happening on that farm/commune/school. That may be the secret - passion in the garden?

Life on our hill is already abundant with food. Our first baby pinapple was like our pet. We visited it everyday. We weren’t quite sure what to do with it until someone told us that if a top leaf pulls out easy it’s ready. The night we ate that pineapple fresh from the ground was like an epiphany. It was sublime – so fresh and gorgeous and then it was gone. Did you know it takes a year to grow a pineapple?

From that moment we were hooked. We needed to grow more food on this hill.Around this pineapple patch I decided we would grow utopia. Free, gorgeous, healthy food! I planted a sea of rocket and am amazed that it grew. Ruby two shoes helps me collect it in a wicker basket and we eat it straight away. Carrots are teasing us from under the ground with fluffy shoots – Success! But hmm..when are they ready?

Why do I have no idea about this simple part of life - the growing of food? Suddenly it is like we have forgotten the basics of living that long ago everyone knew…So for now my new vegetable patch is well..patchy. I read that the whole process of gardening is organic – you can’t just be an expert overnight. This non expert excitedly tried to make Caipiroska with all the green lime looking fruit in the orchard before realising all fruit starts off small and green. Unripe Ruby Grapefruit do not make a great cocktail…..

This love affair with my Garden of Eden is now four months old and I have managed to add a few things. Today’s new recruits? Snapdragons & Strawberries! I’ve taken my first steps in a very rewarding journey and this city girl is learning. If only some of those citrus trees could have been limes for Caipiroska’s…

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