Grow your own…

Yes indeedy, I GREW these beauties...

I have an admission. While I competently know my way around vegetables in the kitchen… I can’t grow them to save myself. My thumb is far more brown than green (no poo jokes please). Which is a shame since growing your own food is a fantastic way for kids to learn all about healthy eating.

But I do try to make Stephanie Alexander proud. My main problem is that being an urbanite, I’m only growing stuff in pots. Which is a good excuse for failure, but doesn’t justify my ‘gardening flightiness’ as my husband puts it. I just think plants are so damn unforgiving. I lose interest for just a couple of hot days, return outside and find it all dead. Luckily they’ve just renovated my local supermarket.

Still, even the crappiest of us can grow SOMETHING. And seeing the kid’s interest in it makes the effort worthwhile. My kids now know the difference between a wide range of herbs. They love to pick the cherry tomatoes, and this year, with impressive tenacity I’ve managed to grow the eggplants pictured above. Aren’t they pretty? I chopped them up this morning for a new eggplant lasagne recipe I’m working on.

And here is my most glorious strawberry of the season. Perhaps I should have used this in my strawberry muffin recipe (which you can find in the cookbook), but I preferred a far more noble use – dropped in last night’s glass of bubbles. I toasted the plant and the summer and swept up in my success, started planning my winter crop.

Destined for something noble – my champagne glass

If you are keen to get gardening, try out these inspiring gardening resources; Stephanie Alexander’s kitchen garden foundation, Grow your own food (thanks Paula on facebook for this suggestion), www.gardenate.com/ has a stack of great information which can be adapted to your location and it’s hard to go past the ABC gardening website, which has everything you could ever need to know. Get the kids involved and good luck – may your thumbs be less brown than mine.

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