I discovered gardening recently. Yes, I know I didn't invent sticking some seeds in the dirt and hoping it turns into something, I mean I recently discovered the hobby, which is now an obsession of mine. Growing up, my father had a vegetable patch. I remember very vividly each summer looking at the bumper crop of sweet corn, tomatoes, cabbages and herbs that had grown. Back then it hadn't interested me. I think because it was my dad's thing and not mine. I had no vested interest in the matter. But now my little kitchen garden is mine and no one else's. It's my money that has gone into buying the seedlings and the garden pots to put them in. For the bigger things that cannot grow in pots, it will be my time and money that will go into making the bigger, raised vegetable bed. It's my manpower. Or woman power.
I love looking out the living room window and seeing my pots on the porch, a sea of green only a few feet away. It's only been a month or so, perhaps a little longer since I first planted some of the herbs and vegetables but already I am reaping the rewards. My lettuces are doing so well. I am so proud of them. It's the same with the celery, cauliflower parsley, and rosemary. My spinach is coming along nicely, as are my carrots, basil, and lavender.
With my new hobby are the fascination and the willingness to learn about it. I want to soak in as much knowledge as possible about this because I am enjoying it so much. Whenever I have some money to spare, I am at the garden centre looking to see if they have new seedlings. I have my eye on some sage and snow peas, which will probably be next week's purchase, as well of course as some more pots.
I find myself drifting to the gardening section when I am at the local library. Already I have found some great books and resources about when to plant certain herbs and vegetables, which vegetables you can plant together for the best yield and which vegetables are enemies and will try and out-grow each other and 'kill' the other off. Which potting mix to use, natural remedies for bugs and snails, which plants are hardy and can survive if you forget to water or care for them and which plants are a bit more time consuming and need certain temperatures and sunlight levels. It's all so fascinating and exciting to me.
Some of the herbs I am the most excited about as there is a practical use for them, other than human consumption. I know medicine has come a long way and we now know that keeping a peeled onion in a room where there is sickness is no good. The onion is not going to 'soak up' the sickness in the air, but some of these uses for herbs I've read about do work and have been proven to work. I've already made my own rosemary oil and lavender oil, both of which are good for insomnia, especially lavender. Sniffing some lavender before bed can aid sleep. Or better yet, rub some lavender oil into your temples to help you relax or add some oil to your bath.
Sage oil is another good one to add to the bath as sage has natural healing properties. If you have sore muscles or joints that ache, add some sage leaves or sage oil to a steaming bath as the sage can relieve the tension in your body after a workout or any physical labour you may have done.
We're even starting up a veggie patch at the daycare with the children, which is awesome. The kids are very excited about it and looking forward to getting their hands dirty and planting some of the vegetables we have set aside for the garden. Children are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables if they had a part in the planting and growing of them, so if course it will be worth it when I am eating the carrots with the children, and we are using the vegetables in the cooking we do.