Can lettuce bring happiness? Can courgettes yield excitement? Since we started our potager, we’re growing organic vegetables that do.
We took off a couple of years ago, dreaming big, starting small, thinking we could always expand as we gained experience. After reading umpteenth books on backyard permaculture and gathering advice from more knowledgeable friends, we’re the proud caretakers of 4 raised beds with lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkin and Jerusalem artichoke. And we’re growing a multitude of berries and soft fruit to hide the fence, which we had to put up to keep out animals.
This year, when the soil was still a bit cold and damp, we started the first lots of vegetable seeds under glass, using two original metal frames we rescued from the woods. This gave us a head start on early spring crops. Next, summer signaled its start with a bountiful harvest of fresh courgettes, raring to grow for months to come. I’ll just fill my fridge to capacity and then bestow squash on unsuspecting friends and neighbours. And oh, the Jerusalem artichoke! It looks much like a sunflower, but unlike the well-behaved yellow bloom, is an invasive weed, peskily difficult to control.
Truth be told, I was worried about the extra work involved with growing a part of your own food, but now I love how we’re creating a life of plenty. Plenty of beauty (because yes, this little patch is beautiful), plenty of contact with nature, plenty of delicious food at the table, and plenty of green gifts to share with loved ones.