I love the idea of having a thriving veggie and herb garden and I have the space to plant one, but something has always stopped me. I’ve been thinking a lot about what that is, and I know it’s not a lack of interest or willingness to put in the effort, instead I think it is just a lack of knowledge of where to begin. I literally have no idea – or I think I don’t – and the time has come to change that.
Now that we have hit spring, the weather has conspired with my wish to have a green thumb to really motivate me to get started. And the motivations are definitely there.
There are an abundance of good reasons to grow your own veggies, from the environmental arguments of being (even partly) self-sustaining, reducing your carbon footprint, and avoiding plastic waste, to economic benefits of growing your own food, to the boost in emotional wellbeing that gardening has been shown to provide, right through to the health benefits of the physical activity associated with gardening and consuming a fresh, chemical-free and plant-based diet.
In the area of health and wellbeing there is a huge amount of research to support a wide range of benefits from gardening (both food and ornamental). There is even research indicating that having a home garden is linked to living longer.
I started in my living room and literally googled ‘how to grow your own veggies’. Yikes. The first thing I came across was a $700, 100-hour online course that would teach me everything I need to know from cultivation and irrigation to harvesting and storing. 100 hours though. That’s a lot.
So, I changed tack – I decided I should try to DIY my learning with some great articles and a touch of YouTube. The first article I delved into had the enticing headline ’10 best broccoli varieties for your garden’ and, while it got my mouth watering, it also completely overwhelmed me. Then there were articles discussing frost charts and soil character. I’m sure it’s not just me that is daunted by these things – at least I hope so. I sat there newly convinced that if I can’t navigate varieties of broccoli, there is no way I get a whole veggie garden going.
I did continue googling, though, and very happily stumbled across a single day course run by Sydney Community College that takes you through the basics and is completely hands on and is affordable. That sounds like the perfect option at this point. I definitely feel like I need hand holding in this project. So, wish me luck – I’ll keep you posted.
See you next time! - Elise
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