*Please note the above picture is of the awesome kitchen garden at The Inn at St Peters. If you are EVER in PEI you must go!*
When I was living in the UK kitchen gardens were all the rage. It seemed with all that fertile soil everyone wanted veg right at their front door. I never had a green thumb, but I really wanted a kitchen garden too, it’s very romanticizing to think about. A little plot at veg ready when you are. Needing the right herb and stepping out of your kitchen door to get it. Digging away at your plot with a happy cat beside you. Really it’s the stuff of day dreams.
I was able to move into a 250-year-old farmhouse and knew I had the chance. This was my moment! I picked veg that I knew we’d eat; courgettes, cucumbers, pumpkin, beans and peas. Well fertile soil it was! Now I was hooked! As soon as we got back to Canada, I knew my house had to have a kitchen garden. I love my little plot, I really do. To watch seed turn to plant, turn to food. To watch the fruits of your labour, to know that you tended the earth and the earth rewarded you. It’s almost magical.
I try to tend my garden with only organic practices. I plant herbs that pests hate but bees love. I use organic fertilizer and lovingly talk to all my plants. I treated my tomatoes blossom rot this year with two applications of crushed egg shells soaked over night in water. That’s love. The reward for all the dedication is ten fold, it really is. I always love going to the garden and picking a warm red tomato. It smells of sun and summer, of hot days and cool nights. It smells of basil and earth and everything right with the world. Or watching the tiny curls of cucumber vines creep up my chain link fence, the peas and beans climbing together up the polls. Words can’t describe all that is awesome about a kitchen garden!
You don’t have to even have a plot to have your own veg plot. You can grow anything you want in pots! Gayla Trail from You Grow Girl has the most amazing books about the subject which I have devoured many many times. I remember when I was visiting Paris and seeing all these beautiful herbs lined in stunning pots on rows and rows of balconies, the smell was intoxicating.
If you’re a foodie and you don’t have a kitchen garden, you really need to try your thumb at it. Start small, start in a pot or two. Plant something to gain your confidence; like strawberries, or herbs. Once you see and taste your hard work, you’ll never look back. You’ll wonder why you never did it sooner. Then after a hard day pottering in your garden you can pull up a chair (in your plot, of course!) pour a gin and tonic and marvel at the wonder and beauty of it all!