We’re absent gardeners, forgetful with water and not much is safe around our two toddlers. Yet somehow in the space of a few short months, we have managed to grow ourselves a vegie garden.
A real one.
This year we’ve harvested half a dozen zucchinis, a bunch of baby carrots, a couple of heads of lettuce, a punnet’s worth of cherry tomatoes, a dozen green beans, bucket loads of wildly out-of-control rocket and a crop of 1-metre high basil to keep us in pesto for a year. Our passionfruit vine grew like Jack’s beanstalk and is covered in little green golf ball shaped fruit. In pots we have lemongrass, rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, mint, chilli, a bay leaf and kaffir lime tree.
It’s incredibly satisfying to have an edible garden. Forget Fischer Price, our garden provides endless entertainment for the kids. Watering, mulching, caterpiller capturing and handling little yellow lady beetles. The kids have taken to chewing on basil leaves and can identify herbs from their smell and taste. Given the size of our backyard, I can’t imagine us ever living sustainably, but we can keep ourselves in herbs and teach our kids where food comes from.
In terms of sharing a garden with toddlers, I can’t recommend enough the Birdies raised garden bed, which provides a little protection for our green friends and puts the vegies at a lovely height for our backs. The kids have a little foot stool each which they happily ferry between compost bins and vegie patch. We had our garden bed filled with beautiful soil from Flower Power…which was a fabulous event all on its own (see below).