My father retired almost 5 years ago and my parents decided to buy themselves a polytunnel and become self-sustainable. They grew everything you can possibly imagine from courgettes and broccoli to peppers and chills. All of their herbs come from their garden, eggs from their chickens, meat from barters they do with local farmers and fish my Dad catches.
I am so impressed by what they have achieved and their garden is outstanding. Don’t get me wrong, it takes a lot of work for both of them. My mother is an avid reader of gardening books and this year she informed me she was making her own insect repellent from fermented nettles. I actually found this out as she warned me not to go near the barrel at the end of the garden because it smelled really bad. She said they turn into a bright green liquid which she sprays over her vegetables and the bugs hate it! Organic growing at its’ very best.
It’s important your children know where their food comes from (no matter how little they are)
I have been trying to teach my children where their food comes from. I think it’s important for kids to know that carrots grow under the ground and that strawberries are there for the taking so last Monday we went to visit my Dad for his birthday. I brought my camera and had asked my Mother if she could show little Oscar around the garden. Even though he was only 14 months he helped pick peas for dinner until he discovered he could eat them and not only that, they tasted really really good. My Mum showed him how to pick a courgette and the highlight of our day was when he put his arms around a chicken and hugged him. I am 38 years old and in that time I have never seen my father laugh like that before.
I’m inspired to grow something now, herbs perhaps. I didn’t inherit my Mothers green fingers and usually, the scope of my plant growing abilities extends to the non-watering succulent kind but none-the-less I’m going to give it a go. I calculated that this week alone I have spent almost €9 on fresh herbs. That’s €468 a year!!!