The absent minded gardener

This is my fifth year of growing our own produce and embarrassingly,  my biggest shortcoming continues to me my inability to remember to water regularly! I am realising that establishing and maintaining routine, in any area of my life, is something I struggle with and watering plants is no exception. Definitely a trait I need to work on, if only so I have a better return on the hard work I put in in the spring, though admittedly would probably benefit the home education aspect of our life as well.

And so it was that the foliage on my main crop potatoes withered away and we harvested them today before they rotted in the ground. But it wasn’t all bad, we dug up a good amount of potatoes, much to the kids delight. After some advice from our lovely landlady we also dug up our garlic and onions. The former surprised us all by being incredibly successful, my last two attempts have been complete failures. So today we had a mini harvest, behold!

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We now have two empty vegetable beds; one we’re going to share with our landlady and fill with chard and I’m pondering putting some brussel sprouts into the other. Our peppers and leeks are getting slowly but steadily bigger and our pumpkins seem to be taking over their bed and both paths next to it, they obviously love our rubbish soil! The greenhouse is full of tomato plants though the children have been banned from it due to their inability to pick the ripe ones (!) but my biggest success is our pea den, we’ve had copious amounts of peas off it and the runner beans will be ready in a few weeks (I hope).

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Sophia and Isaac relished pulling the onions and garlic up and Sophia asked if we could grow all of our food. I explained that we can grow as much as space allows but that to grow all the food we eat we’d need probably an acre of land (at least) and to spend an awful lot more time gardening than we do now. She was not altogether satisfied but whatcha gonna do? But I was chuffed that she was so excited about gardening and really hope that she takes that passion with her as she grows older.

I remember a home educating friend from Brighton telling me that she had three goals for her kids education that she held onto over the years. Since then, I’ve often pondered what the most important thing that I’d like the kids to take away from their education is. And I’m pretty sure that (beyond the obvious goes-without-saying reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic) it involves them having an appreciation for the outside world, for nature and to hopefully have a fairly in depth knowledge of growing their own food, identifying food in the wild and being aware of food beyond just what you see in the supermarket. I don’t know why this is so important to me but I guess I feel that these skills and this knowledge are in danger of being lost and it’s important to pass it down to the next generation.

So Sophia is going to remind me to water the plants and together we’ll hopefully have another successful harvest to tell you about later in the year. If you’re green fingered, how’s your garden going? Any failures or successes? Would love to hear about it!

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