I’ve often wondered where my love of kitchen gardening came from. I’m not an especially expert gardener, but I get an enormous sense of satisfaction from harvesting fruit and vegetables that I grew myself.
My family has many keen gardeners but I’m the only kitchen gardener — at least, that’s what I thought until recently.
A few weeks ago, I had a long phone conversation with my cousin Lizzie, our first conversation in many years. She told me that her father grew beautiful vegetables in his Wagga Wagga garden, fertilized by manure from the poultry he kept. Lizzie fondly remembers the bags of homegrown lemons, oranges and grapefruit Uncle Allan pressed on visitors to their home throughout the citrus season.
Over the past week, I’ve been visiting family members in Sydney and had many delightful conversations. At one gathering, my mother told me that Dad’s father often talked to himself in his later years. When teased about these solo conversations, Granddad would say he wasn’t talking to himself, he was talking to his vegetables. I can’t remember Granddad well because he lived far away in central Queensland and passed away when I was three, but I’m delighted to hear that I’m not the only one who talks to her plants.
The photos I’m sharing today come from my youngest brother Stuart’s Sydney garden. Since he bought his first home-with-a-garden three or four years ago, Stuart’s started a raised veggie garden, planted herbs, and discovered a love for nurturing roses.
It looks like the food gardening gene is alive and well in my family.