Thursday, 17 April 2008

Growing Your Own

Like me, you've probably been hearing a lot about how we must live in a sustainable environment, or face a bleak future. For me at home, it means recycling, re-using, repairing, growing our own organic food (currently parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, strawberries, lemons), catching, storing and reducing water consumption, not buying packaged products where possible, using cloth shopping bags, wrapping rubbish in newspaper (like our Grandmothers used to) instead of using plastic, turning off the lights (just so you know - beeswax candles are the purest to burn, environmentally speaking), walking where possible, practicing frugality ..... there are so many things that can be done.

I have not been a perfect example of these things in the past, but I know I must give it my full attention from now on. No excuses, dedicated passion is required!

I have just filled an exercise book with plans for a Vegie garden i.e. permaculture, water storage, composting, fertilizing, mulching, planting - I hope to use the phases of the moon (see also the back pages of the Australian Women's Weekly if you're an Aussie), pests will need to be controlled by natural means (eg coffee grounds to deter snails, squishing or re-locating :) , not spraying).......

If you're a gardener like me you'll appreciate how exciting this is! At the library I found some great inspiration in 'Lawns into Lunch - Growing Food In The City' (not certain if it's still in print). It is all about creating a vegie garden in an Australian suburban backyard, taking into account the challenges of limited space, sunlight and council regulations. The people contributing to this book are not horticulturalists, they are ordinary people like you and me, from many different cultural backgrounds, some with only apartment balconies and small backyards. One Uni student even turned a nature strip into a community vegie garden! How good would that be?!

All good for the environment, our health and our pockets. If only we could all do this at home, no matter how small the effort, imagine the impact it would have .....


  1. How wonderful Patti - and good for you! I'll be following in your footsteps once I retire. By next year I hope to be totally living off the land (with few exceptions). Not only do I want to go chemical free, but with non-genetically modified seeds as well. This may prove to be a bit of a challenge because my "place" is in the commercial agricultural part of the state where feed corn is grown (genetically modified seeds) as well as GM soy beans. Seed companies sell these modified seeds to farmers at huge discounts, so who can really blame them for using them? Anyway, I hope you share your knowledge via the web (guess it's too much to ask to put your gardening journal on-line??). I'll reciprocate once I'm up and running!!!

    Again - Congrats!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks so much Martie! And yes, the seeds are the most important thing. I WIll be sharing my journey and posting about managing several passions - how do I keep my art going, my new garden project going.... and everything else. But 'balance' was my word for 2008 so it's steady as she goes!

  3. Patti,that's a wonderful post,I live in a big city but try my best to do what I can, turn the lights off, thinking of not wasting water, seperate waste etc., don't have a car (well, that is easy in a city like Paris) How I'd love to have a garden. Your's sound great!
    Thanks for visiting my blog, I always enjoy to come here and find it re-assuring that on the other side of the world there are people like you caring about our environment too!

  4. Go Patti - remember that you can grow loads of things in tubs - you can buy cheap plastic ones in great colours ( red, blue, yellow etc; they are designed for storage, you just make holes in the base). You can then move these around. Good luck!

  5. I haven't commented yet on your artwork. This is a beautiful cup, and a very nice allegory, could be the earth bringing forth all her treasures. Lovely painting,
    à bientôt

  6. Patti, sounds like you are busy. Love the painting. It speaks of earth's bounty. Love the ideas for living a sustainable life.

    I've been pretty sustainable in the past, not even having a dryer but hanging my clothes outside, cutting way down on electricity and so forth. Not so good about having a food garden but had a medicinal herb garden to make my own herbal tinctures and teas from.

    good luck. Suki

  7. It is good to see another post from you Patti, especially to see your beautiful artwork again. Your new dedicated passion sounds wonderful.

    I love your art!


  8. the ulitmately sustainable herb: oregano. Plant it and forever after you will have oregano - everywhere! But I have my best basil luck in containers. We have voles which make tunnels for white foot mice who eat roots and suck down hostas (the ones the deer and rabbits don't get) like spaghetti. We had a great tomato garden on our deck steps last year (the only sunny spot in our very treed yard), but clay and critters pretty much have done our gardening efforts in!


please share a thought......