The Edible Garden - simply Begin

by GEORGIA BROWN

 

Growing food is simple. We have been doing it as a species for tens of thousands of years. Sewing seeds and tending to plants is in your blood, don't let the wilting angel hair fern on your kitchen table fool you.
Before you get too excited about this great news and buy some seeds to throw around, first determine the space you have to do so. If space is limited, let your imagination sink it’s roots into all kinds of new places. Let balconies become oasis, use a friends patch of dirt, start planting beans in your local park or fill your window sills with pots of herbs. The next lot of good news is that there is no longer any need to throw food scraps into the general waste because they are an integral part of this system. For vegetables to grow, they have a few basic needs to be met: Soil that is rich in life/humus, moisture, occasional feeding with nitrogen rich compost or liquid fertiliser and some TLC.
One way to improve soil is to start composting, using only kitchen scraps. The most achievable compost method would be the ‘cold compost’. This basically means letting scraps that you have mixed with straw, decompose at a fairly slow rate , turning it every few weeks to ensure aeration. When you start composting, all kinds of things become a resource, old forgotten leftovers in the back of the fridge are perfect! You want to create a world of decomposition, fungi and worms. 
Once this is underway, its time to purchase some seeds! (insert Food For Change Link) Some seeds actually prefer to be directly sown into the garden bed and will not require raising in seed trays. Some in season vegetables include tomatoes, many herbs like dill, parsley, coriander, basil, rocket, nasturtiums, pumpkin, watermelon, zucchini, squash, corn and okra. 
Another note of importance at this time of the year is to make sure that your garden is mulched. This retains moisture and keeps the direct sun off of the microbe-rich soil. Once your abundant and life giving garden is up and away, regular watering and occasional fertilising become just another practice within the rewarding cycle. What you give is what you get back.
You will soon find yourself hanging to get home to see if your beloved beans have sprouted through the soil or if your tomatoes are ripe and ready for salad. Gardening is so enriching, it brings purpose and celebration into daily life and literally puts food on the table! Just simply begin.