Kitchen Garden Guides

Monday, August 16, 2010

There's been an amazing flood.....

It is a cross between a tidal wave and deluge. It began ever so slowly.... just a trickle and seemed like any other environmental event..... but then the storm hit and the flood came from every direction until it was unstoppable. Now I am in the very heart of it, being pounded and inundated on every side. I have never known anything like it. It is wonderful!

There are so many things I should be seeing to in my garden but it is impossible to get out there. Maybe it is true..... there is always a tempest around me. I don't quite know how to get it all under control or whether it even needs to be controlled at all. If we don't watch out, it's going to take over the entire world....The forecast is for it to build and build all August but I don't think it will end there; it looks to me like the climate has changed permanently.

What on earth am I talking about? Didn't you see it on your news? It is front page news on the Cygnet Classifieds and soon will be in the Mercury newspaper and all over the internet. There could even be traffic jams here as people try to manoeuvre their way through. People keep asking me what I think, but I quote from a delightful book I have just started reading "How do I know what I think, till I've heard what I have to say?"

I'd better explain.... I am talking about the interest in growing food. Whole communities are doing it, schools are doing it, everyone wants to join in, newspapers want to write about it, authors are already writing books about it and websites like KGI and Ooooby are celebrating it online and all over the world.

Kitchen Garden Day is August 22nd and I have been out walking the streets of Cygnet in pursuit of food gardens to visit on our walking tour. People so want to join in, even people who overhear me talking in the street to someone and the man selling pork pies at the market. It truly is a flood. And it is world-wide. There are 70 meet-ups organised around the world for KG Day.... have a look here...

Yesterday I was walking home, yet again, from visiting a prospective garden. I took a different route and on the corner of a street only a hop, skip and a jump from my place I looked into the backyard of food grower's paradise! I stared and wondered..... then knocked on the door. This was my lucky day.... if only someone would come to the door. I knocked again..... still all was quiet. I turned away and walked back to the road, very disappointed, but then a man called hello! A wiry, elderly gentleman, with a distinctive European accent smiled as I blurted out in a totally muddled and barely intelligible way why I had come knocking on his door.

He said "But this is not a good time of year; I don't have anything growing." Well, if that paradise I saw over his fence is nothing, then I can't wait to visit again in summer. He told me his tamarillo was cut down again from the cold night we had recently, even though it was inside the glasshouse. Well, anyone who has a tamarillo in southern Tasmania no doubt has all sorts of other wonderful treasures and stories and experience in growing food. Anyway he agreed to have people come by next Sunday and will be there to show us around. Wonderful to meet Voiter; I am so looking forward to spending time with him by myself, in the future, and learning from him. And to think he is only around the corner from me!

So, we will start at the garden of a young woman who is in a rented house and just starting out, in a very cute way, to grow vegetables and fruit for her family. Next will be the garden of an older woman who once had a huge garden but has moved to a smaller one and her skill at making it work with natives, herbs and vegetables in only 2 years is amazing. Third will be Voiter's.... the ultimate garden. Fourth, Jilli's English garden..... with an artist's eye making it oh so beautiful and interesting.... and what she doesn't know about herbs is not worth knowing! If we have time we will walk through mine, only 2 houses up from Jilli's but I doubt we will. It can be kept for 2011 when it will be much better and I will have all sorts of interesting vegetables growing instead of just the basics that I have now.

I have visited 3 or 4 other gardens in this search, all within 1/2 km of me! And now I know of more that are further afield too, so I am hoping we might do another route another day.... I'd love to make it a seasonal thing so we can see what others are doing throughout a whole year. Gosh. I am getting ideas..... wise or otherwise!

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