About The Gardener’s Shadow
There’s an old adage: “The best fertiliser is the gardener’s shadow”. It’s a lovely expression that acknowledges the benefit of your presence, effort and time on the success of a garden.
I’m privileged to cast my shadow on a stunning sheep and cattle property in country NSW, Australia. It’s a new-ish development with a young garden including veggies and fruit trees, and around the homestead is an Old MacDonald’s Farm mix of chooks, goats, pigs, cats and dogs.
While I can appreciate a beautiful flower garden, my passion is for all things edible, and we are in the process of making the veggie garden 6x bigger. Full disclosure: I’m no expert. I have never had a large scale vegetable garden. What I will share in this blog are the realities of being a beginner vegetable farmer – my lessons learned, success and frustration.
If you’re here for the vegetables…I should be clear that I’m not out to promote a vegan, raw or vegetarian diet. I’m a proud (admittedly overenthusiastic) omnivore. But eating everything doesn’t mean I will eat anything. I think good health is not something to take for-granted, and the food we choose to put in our mouths is one of the biggest contributing factors to long-term well-being.
So I want to eat more veggies. But not the pesticide-coated, pre-packaged, cool-stored, chemically-ripened, ‘cut bite-size for your convenience’ type from the local supermarket. I want a non-stop supply of ridiculously fresh, just pulled out of the dirt produce that I know has never seen a chemical or been on a truck/train/plane journey.
And I’m a passionate cook. I want to turn said produce into a delicious salad, or hot dish, or pickle or preserve that will celebrate its uniqueness, enhance its goodness and nourish the body.
So this is my journey: from baby veggie patch to large scale vegetable garden, and from the garden to the plate, all viewed from this gardener’s shadow.