Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brer Jools and the Veggie Patch

When I was a kid, in the middle of last century, I lived on a farm with my two brothers. I am in the middle. I aged from eight to thirteen on that farm. Sorry, Jesuits, your maxim zeroed out with me. It was the second seven years that were crucial to my formation. And during that seven years, I had a vegetable patch. Correction, we all had a vegetable patch. It was the corner of the house paddock closest to the dam. Between the dam and the well. It was fenced. Yes it was fenced - a real fence and a virtual fence. The real fence outlined Mum's 'holding' and the virtual fence our three individual holdings. A bit like running yer elbow down the school desk and glaring if her shirt sleeve dared so much as to flap over the boundary!
So, the boys and I grew veggies. Mum grew flowers around the house, but they were weedy things. And had no purpose. And there was no competition. Who gave a damn if my petunia was bigger than Barry's pansy! So, veggies it was. We had paths between the beds. We had gullies around the beds. This was before the era of the raised bed. Oh, golly gosh yes. We dug DOWN. We had to use our shoulders. And then we had to take the barrow out amongst the rabbit burrows and wire grass and prickly pear to collect the cow pats to make our own compost. But we helped each other. I think. Anyways, we had wire strung between posts to help our beans run. And our tomatoes climb. We had fingers to nip out the suckers - in the days when that was still de rigeur.

So, here I go, with my first veggie garden since 1977 when I was overwhelmed in Canberra with tomatoes and zucchinis and capsicum. Hah! The poor man from 'Woolies Online' when he had to deliver 10*25 litre bags of potting mix plus two bags of blood'n'bone. Now I need two more black bins and some more plants. I have two tomatoes (Russian Reds), nice leaf lettuce, and a tiny pumpkin. Also some rock melon seeds, but not convinced by them.


Kay L. Davies said...

Such fun, your spring and our autumn. I can watch your veggies grow and not mind that my squashes and melons produced nothing this year.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

freefalling said...

Oh how exciting!
Love hearing about your ye olde vegie patch.
Did you have any fruit trees?

The poor delivery man must have been cursing you!

I grew some rockmelons from seed last year - but they only grew little plants and did nuthin. I might have planted them too late or maybe it was too wet and cold last summer.

What about strawberries?
Got any of them?

Joan Elizabeth said...

You have such a great feel for plants. Your story reminded me of the line down the middle of the bed I shared with my sister. The demarcation line only existed in summer, in winter we were perfectly happy to huddle together to get warm.