The Joy of Growing a Garden
The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all – Wendell Berry
My earliest memory of getting my hands dirty is as a very young child helping my father with tomato plants in our backyard garden. To this day, the smell of chicken manure evokes a vision of huge, red, juicy tomatoes & a small kiddie plastic wheelbarrow in which I laid them carefully at harvest time.
My passion for growing my own food using organic, regenerative, sustainable & permaculture principles has become an obsession & the desire to encourage urban dwellers to grow just a little of their own food, even in an urban apartment setting, is my goal.
I have a strong memory of a time when food was simple & tasted fresh and flavoursome - so unlike the plastic wrapped, tasteless, cold stored, sprayed, modified, adulterated fruit & vegetables in our stores today. A real connection with the food you put into your body is as nourishing as that food itself.
There is something incredibly joyous & yet humbling in nurturing your plants from seed to fruition and deriving from it all the goodness that Nature intended for us to benefit from. That connection with the elements brings moments of such peace as your mind full of busyness slows down to the gentle rhythm of snipping, sifting or turning over leaves.
My balcony garden in the middle of a busy suburb, in a bustling city, is my happy place and my retreat from my cares. Spent container soil is re-deployed after being sifted & amended with homemade compost, worm castings, purchased or gifted manures & minerals & Vermiculite. I do all of this on a balcony! I always mulch with organic Sugarcane which seems to break down well & sweetens the soil. It isn’t necessary to own the quarter acre block to grow one’s own food. If you have the space for a container, you have the space to grow!
A little farm such as mine is a great teacher & its greatest lesson is the begetting of patience. If a crop fails one season, you have to wait until the next year to address the failure but in the intervening time you reflect, you research, you problem solve & plan for the next season.
These lessons transfer well to life in general.
Having the right tools to enable easy and successful gardening is so important
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Also in Small Garden Ideas | Sustainable Living | Up On The Rooftop
My home is a penthouse apartment on the fourth storey of a modern apartment block in a northern suburb of Sydney, about 30 kms from the city. While most other apartment balconies in my heavily built suburb have a potted ornamental or two. There's generally enough vegetables for the two adults here all year-round and a little to share. My apartment is part of a growing global movement of people involved in urban farming.
The Tip Shop is a the perfect plaace to find your piece of PVC drainpipe that converts into a slender, small-space fitting container garden! When you look creatively, almost anything can be used as a container to grow plants in. See how to create a container for a very tight space!
Learn about your Balcony or small space growing zone - did you know that living in a certain place actually determines the type of garden you will have and the plants that grow happily in your space? You can't fight the natural conditions in your garden, work with them by understanding what they are and determining what will grow in such.