I’ve always loved the idea of growing my own food. At the house we lived in before the one we’re in now, we had two apricot trees, a small fig tree (always full of ants), a nectarine tree, a plum tree that only ever had about three plums, an enormous walnut tree that used to hang over our fence from the house behind, a lemon tree that we killed somehow and a lime tree that never fruited. I loved having all those trees, but they were neglected and I’m a terrible gardener. The only tree that consistently produced anything worth eating was one of the apricot trees. Hundreds and hundreds of apricots. I would be in the un-airconditioned kitchen in the heat of summer cooking apricots for jam or for preserving and sterilising jars in big pots of boiling water. I would give bags of apricots away to anyone who’d take them and still so much fruit rotted on or around the tree. It was a source of stress at the time–I hated to see the fruit go to waste–but I really miss that tree.
At our current house we have no fruit trees and a smallish yard. I tried growing veggies in pots with my son who was about six at the time. We weren’t very good at it. The tomatoes were mushy, the carrots like wood, the eggplant unbelievably bitter and whitefly (I think that’s what they’re called) ate my basil. My son loved it though and it did get him more interested in eating veggies. When I stir fried the bok choy that the cabbage moths had spared, he claimed it was delicious. After all that work I decided I just didn’t have a green enough thumb or the stamina for a veggie garden, so I planted a few herbs out the front and hoped they’d sort themselves out.
Earlier this year my husband cleared out the herbs from the front and replaced them with rocks. I was a little devastated, but in fairness, there were more weeds than herbs there and neither of us was really too interested in weeding.
Now I’m having another stab at growing things in pots. So far the rhubarb is looking great and the herbs, well time will tell, but I haven’t killed them yet.