Garden of Repurpose

My garden, often described as my happy place, was started in 2020, (see this post) has moved twice, and is now, finally, producing fruit. Up until this point, my harvests have been green leafy vegetables and herbs.

After a long summer season of banging our heads against dead soil and shriveled seedlings, I have successfully harvested my first EVER homegrown zucchini.

After losing countless tomatoes before they ripened, I have finally tasted a ripe tomato from my own garden.

After losing seedling after seedling in the ground, our trusty containers yielded a barrowful harvest of sweetcorn!

This garden of mine, of ours, represents more than a few tomatoes and some sweet corn. This garden is a garden of repurpose; physical and otherwise. Most of the materials in the garden have been pulled from elsewhere; beds and supports made from repurposed, secondhand, or “junk” materials.

But more than the sheet metal and the old swing frame, the garden is a home of repurpose in our lives. Each harvest, failed or triumphant, inches us closer to our ultimate dream of growing the majority of our fruit and vegetables. Each lost seedling teaches us something about soil, climate, or simply labour.

Our garden is the teaching our children to respect the earth, to wonder at the glory of creation before us, and to KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF MAMAS STRAWBERRIES. (Just kidding, no one has learnt that one yet). It’s teaching me patience with myself and my toddler’s curiosity. Together we learn to dig, to squeeze in time to plant a few seeds, and to determine when something is truly ready to pick.

“Mama’s tomatoes. Not ready”.

I’m proud of my small ripe tomatoes, and the mountains that are due to come inside soon. I’m proud of the troubleshooting we’ve had to do to get a single zucchini this year, and what I’ve learnt that will make it better next year. I’m proud of the patience I’ve shown and the dedication to plod along everyday and make improvements as I see them.

I’m a mum of two very small, young, highly dependent individuals, in a brand new town, living with anxiety and depressive disorders. Some days I feel that it’s an impossible dream, to live sustainably, to feed ourselves from our labour…and then other days I feel the pride and satisfaction of picking a single, ripe, healthy zucchini and I realise that beyond the baby steps lies the dream. And I believe we’ll get there together. One not-ready strawberry and tomato at a time.

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