Plant what you eat

Heavy rain overnight, and it’s still pouring down. It’s coming down the coast from a tropical cyclone. My allotment is a ten minute drive away but I swear I can hear those sweet potatoes swelling up in the ground even this far away!

I am SO tempted to go over there and plant a few Bok Choy seeds. I reckon with our hot weather, and this rain, they’ll be growing like topsy. But that is not what I wanted to write about  ……

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It’s seed catalogue time. In all the excitement, remember to PLANT WHAT YOU EAT!

Seems to me that both ends of the globe us gardeners are looking at our seed catalogues.  I follow a number of allotment blogs from the UK. Allotments are a way of life in old Blighty and I enjoy reading about it as that is where I grew up.  At the moment they are experiencing heavy snow so now is the time to drink a hot toddy and get out the catalogues. Here in Brisbane I’m doing the same thing but in my case it’s an ice cold drink and the Green Harvest Organic Gardening catalogue.

So, in a nutshell, this is the time to plan what you will be growing, and eating, this year.

The question I’m asking myself as I look at this seed catalogue is “what do I really want to eat?”.

As gardeners we put so much energy into growing our veggies that I believe it makes sense to grow what you know will be eaten gleefully rather than “what do I do with this now I’ve grown it?”.

I have grown a wide variety of veggies in my little allotment since I took it over two years ago. Some of it ‘strange stuff’.  Sub-tropical veggies that I had never grown before I emigrated to Queensland came to me thanks to tiny seedlings donated by friends with a glut of seedlings.

(Is there anyone reading this who hasn’t been carried away with the contents of a seed packet?  The agony of a glut of seedlings can only be eased by giving them to a good home, i.e. another allotment holder.)

I am grateful for the opportunity to try new veggies, and for the kindness with which they were given.

However, I have been sitting here thinking “what do I want sitting on my dinner plate?”

After much pondering I have come to the conclusion that I have a very boring palate. Might be because I grew up as a ‘war baby’. WWII – not the Boar war! So I will be growing veggies that I know I’ll be eating.  Carrots, beans, potatoes, silver beet, parsley and kale which I can’t get enough of and beets for pickling. The sweet potatoes are already in the ground and I’ll be eating them with everything!

I can’t wait to get started.

I’d love to hear what you will all be growing this year.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

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