The joy of my vegetable garden…

My work as a pastor in a large church is not always plain sailing… We deal with a lot of sadness and hurt in people’s lives. This morning I have to conduct the memorial service of a friend. It is going to be very difficult… When we are dealing with so much sadness and hurt of people, we also have to have something that reminds of joy and hope… Yes, pastors are supposed to find that in our faith. But sometimes it is just so good to see something physical growing.

This season I have taken on the challenge to grow a vegetable garden again. Just now I have walked in my garden, to see what nature is doing there.  And it really is uplifting to see growth, and life. (Sometimes it is really difficult to see that in people’s lives…)

Here is what I enjoyed this morning…

A few years ago I tried to breed birds. That did not work out so good, and I sold all my cages but one. This large bird cage I now use as a tunnel to plant my tomatoes in- that the wild birds don’t get to eat all my crop! I am also trying cucumbers for the very first time ever… The first ones are now about an inch (2 1/2 cm) long, I still have no idea how fast they grow…

2013-12-19 07.44.38 2013-12-19 07.44.33Because I do have a big garden, I am also trying to get some pumpkins from my own garden. We only have a lot of pumpkin fly around here, that attacks the pumpkins when they are just forming…

2013-12-19 07.44.10

I am delighted with the growth of my zucchinis (baby marrows in South Africa) – this one got overlooked and is growing quite large, so I am thinking of letting him grow to see how big he will go, and maybe try and use his seed for the next season…

2013-12-19 07.45.41

One thing we South Africans love, is corn on the cob. We call them mealies…  What the Americans call wheat we call corn. And our “corn” is maize, or “mielies” in Afrikaans…

2013-12-19 07.45.58I also have my first apparently successful potato crop in, there are some beans, carrots, green peppers and aubergines growing…

I am not fully organic yet, the soil around here is very poor, and there are a lot of pests attacking the vegetables. For the poor soil I also am making a big compost heap- nothing organic goes to a landfill at my home.  I use no poisons, but still use a little bit of chemical fertilizer. That is until my earthworm farm picks up, and produces enough vermitea to go fully organic. I just have to find organic ways and means to combat the pests, something is eating my tomatoes… and it is not me…

And so, by telling you all these, I have relaxed a little and am in a little bit better state of mind to go to that funeral in 2 1/2 hours time…

12 thoughts on “The joy of my vegetable garden…

  1. Looks very impressive! We grow most of the same here, but Toms are a real headache here as so much red spider and whitefly around, and like you, I’m not into using sprays if avoidable. What I have gone for in recent years has been dwarf cherry tomato plants. They seem much hardier and less susceptible to attack (I clear all fruit and spray the plants just 3 times a season; May-November). Cucumbers also are very problematic too with mildew and whitefly I find. They recommend keeping them completely separate from everything else to try and keep them ‘safe’ – I failed miserably on that front this year though! Courgette (Zucchini) are similar to cucumber so as long as you don’t water in the evening, they stay mildew free mostly, and they can grow for 3-4 metres! Pumpkin, disaster, never managed… similarly watermelon not easy here (too hot). If you want to aim for organic, have you looked into cooperative planting? By this I mean what should you plant with what. For instance, we plant spring/salad onion in between cabbages and that mostly keeps the awful cabbage-white moth away! Worth a try – lots of info out there.

    As for your friend, sorry to hear that, but I’m sure he would, and his family are, grateful that you are there for him at this time. A friend of my wife officiated at my wife’s funeral, and that for me was very comforting I can tell you.

    Spike

    • Thanks Spike! I still have so much to learn, but enjoy it a lot! I never tried watermelon yet, although we have some of the best watermelons in our country grown around here… At the moment I plant a lot, and share with nature… it will give me great joy to give vegetables away when the crops are ready. Till now I could only give my wife 3 green peppers and about 6 zucchinis so far, but the tomatoes are getting ripe soon. There are also some butternuts showing some promise, looks as if they escaped the pumpkin fly…

    • I have about 20 cubic metres of compost here in the back yard🙂 That is also the reason why I plant the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and aubergines in these large black plastic bags, with a large volume of compost- it also makes more sense in our drought prone region waterwise…

  2. These are such lovely photo’s of your beautiful veggie garden. Condolences on the loss of your friend Vos. Take care and have a lovely day.😀 *hugs*

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