Mini battles in our heads

Since starting this project I have had the pleasure of some fascinating conversations with people who know lots more than me about gardening and growing things.

My Dad was a keen gardener who loved growing lilies. His garden is now my garden and I really wish now that I had listened to him more when he was alive. When I first moved here I felt a huge sense of responsibility to keep his garden looking good. Of course reality hit quite quickly. He was retired and had lots of time, I had 3 young children and no where near enough time. I quickly became overwhelmed. Then gardening stops being a pleasure and starts to become a chore.

It took time for me to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t able to keep the garden for my dads sake, I had to make it my garden and just try as best I could when I had the time. I did wander around with him and ask questions, especially during the last year of his life. But I have to be honest and say that at that time, I wasn’t that interested in the finer details of growing plants. I was a stick them in the ground and hope for the best kind of grower. I’m sure he is looking down on me now thinking I showed you how to do that, but you weren’t listening to me.

One of my big passions is helping at a local hospice with fundraising. Whilst listening to the patients and families who have been touched by cancer, one thread seems to pass through everyone.

Why has this happened, and what can they do to improve their health and overcome their illness. For me, when both my parents died from cancer, my thoughts were how can I prevent any more of my family falling prey to this illness.

The answer in so many ways is what we put on ourselves and into ourselves. I have become passionate about using the best products I can buy and eating good food.

It has to be better for us to know where our food has come from and what has been put on it when it reaches our table? Do you agree?

On that score, I have sowed my Broccoli power food, on a baking tray (one of those rubber ones) on a bed of moist kitchen paper. After a long day yesterday I forgot to re-moisten the paper. So I have given the seeds another drink today. I hope they won’t hold it against me and die before they have started.

4 days later and some of them are starting to sprout. All I can say is they had better put a spurt on if I am going to eat them in 3 days. I used the whole packets so if this is going to be a regular item to grow, you would need to do a bulk purchase. I’m holding that thought until I have tried them in a salad.

One conversation I had this week went along the lines of, ‘you will need to do something to stop pests eating your broad beans because when it gets cold, they will dig up your seeds and eat them. And you will need to protect your cabbages from the birds because that’s their Christmas dinner.’ I found myself saying ‘if it’s this much trouble, why don’t we all just go to Sainsbury’s for our veg?’ ‘Ah well you see’ came the answer, ‘once you have tasted your home grown veg you will never go back to the shop veg ever again and if we all grew our own, carbon foot prints would greatly diminish too.’ I was re-convinced and enthused to continue!

Also, I didn’t know that when packets of seeds show the months that are suitable for sowing, it depends which part of the country you are in. Did you now that? So here in the Midlands, the last couple of months that the packet shows are too late for this area! That changes everything when you are a do things at the last minute gardener like myself. Thank you David – I think.

We have mini battles in our minds sometimes don’t we? Is this worth all the trouble? Do I have time? Will this work? But I am enjoying the journey, even though it’s very early days and I don’t have anything to eat yet!