Welcome to my blog. The idea behind this blog is simple: to provide a record of the joys and pitfalls of kitchen gardening in suburbia. More specifically it is about trying to grow fabulous vegetables and herb in order to both feed my family from the garden (as much as possible) and cook the most flavoursome dishes I can.
To give you a bit of background: I live in a northern suburb of Melbourne, Australia. The climate is ‘temperate’, in theory at least, and frost free (or it has been during the 4 years I have lived here). I have a 12 square metres set aside for growing veggies plus space for pots.
The rewards of growing my own veggies so far has been great; my kids understand where what they eat comes from, the produce is fresh, cheap and chemical free and I enjoy the time I spend in the garden. There are frustrations though, from seeds that don’t germinate and shade from next doors trees, to mice, rats, flying foxes, cabbage white butterflies and powdery mildew. The things that don’t work can be disheartening and frustrating. I do believe that most (and hopefully all) of these problems can be overcome and that a lot of the challenge in gardening is looking for different solutions to counteract everything from space limitations to predators and disease.
This blog aims to address the problems thrown up by kitchen gardening in a suburban backyard by finding the best ways of growing the nicest tasting varieties of everything we like to eat. This will cover both vegetables and herbs as well as any fruits that my space allows. I am interested in both the quality and quantity of the vegetables (and herbs) that I am able to produce, as well as the ease with which they grown and finally how they can be prepared.
Why the name? Tomatoes are pretty much my favourite food and were the initial motivation behind establishing a kitchen garden. I simply wanted to grow great tasting tomatoes to cook and eat. Things mushroomed from there to incorporate other vegetables and herbs but I am still looking for that perfect tomato. It needs to be one that: grows well in partial shade, resists disease, the birds don’t eat, doesn’t fruit all in one go, fruits no matter how hot or cold the summer is and most of all tastes delicious. In short; the perfect tomato for my part of suburbia. Impossible? The thing I love about gardening is that each year brings a new chance to find out.