There are few things better than having a vegetable garden in the backyard. It provides fresh pickings each day, chemical free produce with beautiful taste that you can’t find in any store.
I look forward to spring and my kids get excited when we talk about what we want to plant for the season. Usually it is cucumbers, tomatoes, chilli’s and watermelon however each year we add or try something new. Our first harvest is generally in October and the last could be somewhere around April – 7 months of fresh vegies. The last season didn’t go to well with the drought and bushfire, however we still managed to have more than enough produce for our family and to share with the extended family and friends.
Preparing, planting and maintaining the vegie garden is an awesome family undertaking we all enjoy. The kids especially have fun each evening as we harvest for the next day as well finding different recipes for our chosen vegetables. The upkeep and management of the garden is good for relaxation and letting the brain have a rest.
Planting, produce and pickles.
The vegetable garden also creates good communities as we generally have enough to share and intentionally designed our garden with this in mind. Others also share their produce with us as we grow different types of vegetables. The thing I enjoy the most is giving someone a bag of vegetables and then part of that coming back modified. A fresh bag of chilli’s given to neighbour gets returned in a pickled version or a bag of tomatoes comes back as a tasty pasta sauce.
In good seasons when there is a large harvest amount I use different recipes. Drawing on my Macedonian background, tomatoes and chilli’s are core ingredients and are the best for Ajvar and Lutenica (Macedonian staple dishes).
My garden shown in the photos is a simple raised planter that anyone can put together. Made from 200 x 50mm timber sleepers it is approximately 400mm high to make it easy on your back. I like raised planters as you can build them in modules and add relocated each season. This is the perfect time of year to start planning for next seasons vegie patch. Pick your location and make sure it gets plenty of sun and then start thinking about the type of garden that suits your needs.