When Backyards became Backwards


“Wow, you’ve got a garden… you’ve actually got a GARDEN!”                                        Bemused Visitor

I don’t recall a time myself when backyard gardening changed. Not a precise moment. Maybe I was born after the major change, or at the tail end.

I suspect it was much more of a generational transition. Probably linked in with a jump from the single-income family to the joint-income family and a loss of time in lieu of increased income. Increased income would have meant an increase in ‘expendable cash’ and a gradual creeping in of convenience products.

Why grow vegetables when you can buy them? Think of how much more time you’ll save. Time to watch television with the kids.

My Pop worked cultivated his own garden. Of course it was work, but I guess it was looked upon as maintaining a level of fitness also. I suspect it was also therapeutic. I have fond memories of large bouquets of crispy, dark green spinach being delivered to our house and fossicking under the Cape Gooseberry bush for ripe berries. That sharp flavour of the berries is an early childhood memory.

So many backyards nowadays are grassed or concreted or smothered in some other hard surface. I did a presentation about this at a Sustainable Living Expo which you can read about here. The presentation briefly detailed what we were doing in our own backyard and with the move to the new block, we only plan to do it better.

Permaculture Paradise: Part One

Permaculture Paradise: Part Two


2 thoughts on “When Backyards became Backwards

  1. That is an interesting observation about the generational transition, and how there is less time for what needs to be done at home because everyone is out doing what needs to be done for work.


  2. Yes. I thought so too. I had some on-lookers at the new garden site yesterday. One was waiting for HIS vegetables to grow and the other observed the garden and commented. “It’s a lot of work. But if you enjoy it, you’ll do it.” I think that’s a fair statement for anything. I would also say however that to me the potential benefits far outweigh the work. And I am well aware there is a lot of initial work. After the set-up phase, the design and nature will lessen the workload. Then it is just up to how much work I want to create with regard to our vegetable garden and the level of intensive utilisation of the land. Beats watching TV.


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