I am lucky to live in a lovely part of the world with very community-minded people who are able to mobilise residents into various extra curricular pursuits such as tying red Christmas bows around trees, book clubs and street scape preservation. It makes for a very pleasant plot and gives residents endless conversation starters at the street Christmas party. A more recent initiative has been the establishment of a community veggie garden. The idea being that we create our own veggie gardens then share excess produce with neighbours to minimise waste, promote sustainability then brag about it at school drop off!
Cheekiness aside however, I have always wanted a veggie garden, if for nothing else but to feel the pride over a well rounded pumpkin or the adoration for a shiny skinned aubergine (and seeing as though I am a vegetarian - quite a handy resource). However, after several unsuccessful attempts at growing anything but continental parsley, (only wonderful news for lovers of tabouli), I have continued to make the weekly trudge to the market or grocery store for my staples of fresh produce.
So with a mix of anxiety and anticipation (anxipation if you will), I bravely committed to joining the community veggie garden. My daydreams of sharing gardening tips, swapping produce with neighbours and enjoying lovingly cultivated segments, batons and bushels from our own street began...and then I woke up. I am totally rubbish at growing anything likely to be considered fit for human consumption. This would normally not be a problem should this shameful practice of vegetable abuse be only limited to dissappointment from within the household, but to now have the discerning eyes and baskets of the street firmly fixed over the fence? We are now talking game changer.
With my plant pampering to be put under the microscope (literally as I can't imagine growing anything of significant size), I navigated the multitude of packets and bottles in the shed to better acquaint myself with the science of keeping alive the most innocent of bulbs (what on earth is blood and bone anyway and it doesn't sound like anything a vego like me would want to have seeping in to their tomatoes)!
We agreed a realistic approach of starting small, so we selected our crops and planted our hopes and dreams.....well at least the desire to be able to knock together a half decent salad.
After weeks of daily checks, and reprimanding an over inquisitive cavoodle you can imagine my surprise when after a family holiday we were greeted with bright, plump tomatoes (the dog looked guilty when quizzed about a deformed capsicum).
What is that noise you say? That would be my fellow veggie gardeners knocking at the door wanting their 1/50 of quite possibly the most pathetic looking tomato ever harvested.
I am hoping the kale will lead me to redemption!