I continue on my own personal food revolution . . .
Though the picture above of our garden during late summer here in the Far South shows an indication of summer abundance, it is what grows between the crops that has interested me.
Ripening pumpkins hang from vines or sit on carefully placed, tufted cushions of meadow hay. The corn is growing taller and beginning to flower whilst the leek are swelling and filling their stems. Tomato bushes give us a harvest of about a bowl a day of cherry tomatoes whilst the late planted seedlings have grown tall and are already flowering and starting to set fruit.
I marvel at all of this as I have always done, but when I visit the garden in the evening, it is the things that grow between I look for. The purslane growing amongst the corn, or the mustard that has self-sown along the edges of the raised garden bed. The rocket or arugula that fed me for many weeks during the early summer. There is chrysanthemum that I pluck leaves off or harvest its flowers for drying for teas. The lemon verbena I utilise the same way. One of my favourites tisanes is verbena.
Striving to fill any gaps in the sun drenched garden is the sweet potato vine. I pluck leaves for salads or the odd green juice that I might make. Also filling any available space is Fat Hen or Lambs Quarters. I let it go when we moved in as it grew well in the sand and held the soil together. It grew Everywhere. As the plants matured and thickened they were cut down and used for mulch and to feed the soil. It doesn’t stand so much of a chance this year. In some parts of the garden I have cut it early and used it to build the soil up, laying it crudely for mulch. In other parts of the garden I harvest it and eat it with my salads.
In addition to this garden abundance, Mrs PP has supplemented the kitchen salads with large bouquets of mustards, kales and lettuces from the local Farmer’s Market. Local avocadoes and macadamia nuts have also frequented our meals, particularly mine, along with fish. Usually canned sardines, local fish, or store bought salmon. During the summer I made several attempts to fish for my own fish. Each time I came home empty handed, though I nearly landed a cuttlefish.
That was at this place, only a kilometre or so from our house. These boulders are the size of our Little Fellas. Around the bend was a throng of fishermen, probably catching Herring which are starting to move around the coast here. Aside from the fishermen, the odd dingy in the bay and the freighter in the distance, anchored and ready to enter Port, we could have been forgiven for being in a place that time had forgotten.
I will persevere with the fishing. I wish to become proficient at it. I would be happy to catch sand whiting, squid and herring. Also the King George Whiting which are named after this body of water so close to our home.
In the meantime, I harvest the garden and leave the preserving to Mrs PP who has waited for so long to have a harvest to work with. I will continue with my salad picking and have sown seeds of Asian greens and kales that will be planted into the garden once the main crops are done. It is the continual turn-over of salad crops that I am looking forward to the most. A meal high in dark, leafy greens, some olives, avocado and fish . . . an abundance of olive oil and some nuts has driven away hunger, cleared and relaxed my mind and got me seriously thinking about the future of our garden from a different perspective. In about a month and a half of very similar eating I have witnessed some very quick, beneficial changes regarding my physical body and also my mind. I am sure they will continue. I have not touched any ‘manufactured foods’ and severely cut down on sugars – all forms of sugar. Fruits and honey included.
I am doing virtually everything the opposite to what Gran does.
And the inner harvest is paying dividends.