Monday, September 08, 2008
I love my garden. It is a small allotment garden, almost perfect for a apartment dweller like myself. Even with it's small size, I am able to grow more than I can eat, can, cook with, dehydrated, freeze, or process in other creative ways. With an average effort of ten minutes a week plus an hour of hard labour a month, there is not only enough for my household, but also for my other family members, close friends, former co-workers, neighbors, and occasionally, people who pass me on the street.
And then there are friends and family with fruit trees. Fruit enjoys coming ready all at once, and if you've ever had to process and can five trees worth of pears, I empathise. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables is one thing, but processing them to enjoy throughout the year is an entirely different kettle of zucchini.
With my small allotment garden and my friends and relatives' back yard fruit trees, I have almost enough fruit and vegetables to keep me fed well through those long, dark, rainy, winter months.
A ten minute trip to the garden last week gave me these delightful yummies.
And an hour of digging, picking, and tidying up the allotment provided me with enough yummies to keep me busy for days (note: the basket is mostly full of potatoes with squash on top). That's after I gave away the extra to random people.
If you look at all the things I can do with the garden now, imagine what I could manage with my very own yard. Although, Mrs Beeton's book didn't actually grow in the garden, it is however, a newly acquired source of recipes.
I love giving away food almost as much as I love growing it. I think it must be some sort of evolutionary emotion from a time when survival depended on group co-operation. Of course, it has it's practical value - I'm not going to make it through all that food before it spoils and I never did like Zucchini. I think there is something deeper in my soul that glows when I can give away food; be it a group bake off with my university friends so that they have something healthy stashed away in their freezer to eat, or just an extra couple of cucumbers to a neighbour. It makes me smile.