25 June 2007

Fresh organic food

We’ve had a vegetable garden for much of the past 25 years. Gardening is one of those things that I miss when I don’t do it for a few days. I can't see myself without some form of garden in the future, even if it’s just a few herbs and some tomatoes in pots.

But now I have five garden beds surrounded by a picket fence to keep dogs and chooks out. On the other side of the garden we grow fruit. Currently we have grapes, bananas, passionfruit, pink grapefruit, mandarins, loquat, raspberries, loofahs, blueberries and lemons. Contained within the vegetable garden there are oranges, peaches and nectarines.

We grow vegetables all year but now is our best growing season. During summer it’s very hot here and there are so many bugs around it doesn’t seem worth it to grow anything. But generally we soldier on with tomatoes, cucumber, eggplant, chilli, capsicums, potatoes, silverbeet and herbs.

We are now growing potatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, bok choy, radishes, lettuce, rocket, English spinach, silverbeet, turnips, carrots, capsicums, beans, peas, red and green onions, pumpkins, herbs, kale, mixed lettuces, loofahs. In the aquaponics garden we have celery, asparagus, silverbeet and lots of tomatoes.

Our garden has been organic since the start. We’ve lived here for 10 years and have tried to operate a closed system over that time, but invariably we’ve had to import straw for mulch and a bit of organic fertilizer, seaweed extract and potash. The soil has been built up of the years from red clay to the friable dark soil we now enjoy. There was a lot of hard work at first, mountains of compost, dolomite limestone and worm castings from our worm farm, but we’ve now got very good soil.

My garden is maintained so it will produce food all year, we eat from it almost every day. I also like to freeze and preserve excess for use later. Often we give eggs and vegetables to our son and occasionally to friends and neighbours. I grow loofahs to use in the shower, in the kitchen and to give as gifts with some of my home made soap.

There is nothing better than your own fresh organic food
ready for picking in the backyard. When you team that up with a stockpile cupboard of dried goods and staples, you can live like a queen without the huge expense normally associated with organic food.


  1. It looks very good, Rhonda.

    I've thought about growing some loofahs. How long does one last?

    Regards, Gary

  2. Your garden looks absolutely amazing! I dream of having one like it some day. Thanks for visiting my site, as far as baby food goes, I only make about a weeks worth (or maybe a little more) then I freeze it in glass jars.

  3. Your garden looks great, especially at this time of the year when we have so little in our garden.

    cheers Lenny

  4. Rhonda, Your garden looks so good! It makes me miss mine now. Is that silly considering it isn't even producing yet? Oh well, call me silly then.

  5. Another inspiring photo Rhonda. We have started picking from our garden. I introduced Simon and Phillip to steamed Radish tops on Saturday night their hit also Kolerabi was enjoyed along with rainbow chard.
    I love my daily visit in here.

  6. Your garden looks fabulous Rhonda. I'm so jealous! Especially since I'm struggling to grow some greens whilst waiting for the promised rabbit-proof fence to be built...

  7. it looks fantastic! Are they little concrete blocks used as a border? I am rebuilding some of my beds and need to find a suitable edging for them.

  8. Rhonda,
    What a beautiful garden. I love to see pictures of gardens. It always inspires me to keep at mine.

  9. thanks everyone.

    Gary: I compost our loofahs after about 2 months. During that time I keep them clean just by rising well after use and allowing them to dry.

    Susan: yes, they're flat Besser block taht we bought as seconds. I'm slowing planting up some of the holes int hem with herbs.

  10. Susan, I posted about using concrete recycling for gorden edges here and here. They may help give you an idea as well.

  11. Hi Rhonda
    What beautiful pictures and what a lovely garden. You have really inspired me today! Thanks!

  12. While viewing the images of your garden, I'm inspired to make my own. Nowadays, it's wiser to just get organic foods at your backyard than to buy somewhere and let organic food delivered to you.


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