By Roger Findlay, Gerogery
Quite recently we had a three week holiday on the south island of New Zealand visiting some of the finest places on the planet. We had a good look at the quality of food in the supermarkets, paddocks and allotments.
On return we had expected the rain and wind damage to be far worse but, to our surprise, everything was perfect. It took no time at all to re-establish our relationship with the wild birds, insects and lizards as well as our domestic sheep and chickens. Oh how we missed them all; and I believe they missed us too!
Spring is a great time of the year on the Border and even better when you have an interest in gardening. We love to see masses of coloured flowers knowing that they are attracting pollinators and birds but most of all we like to see the vegetable garden, fruit and nut trees waking from their slumber.
To maintain our enthusiasm we have been fortunate to acquire good friends with similar interests. Each of these people are passionate in what they do and spend hours of dedication achieving their objective. We nibble a bit from here and there without being too serious but gleaning the necessary for a productive hobby farm.
I do the majority of the work in the vegetable garden while the wife devotes her expertise to the kitchen. From a person that couldn’t even boil an egg she has reached a high level of proficiency in all things gastronomy. When you can walk out of the door and collect fresh eggs, pick chemical free vegetables, herbs and citrus you have a commodity that every decent chef craves. When you can turn those ingredients into a quality meal you have achieved what every decent husband craves!
If you don’t have a garden then I suggest you shop at our local Farm Gate markets or one of the equivalent private outlets where you will find everything I’ve mentioned. Look for produce that has been grown without sprays or chemicals and be prepared to pay a bit more. Chat with the grower and don’t be afraid to ask the awkward question.
There’s harmony in the garden and kitchen with the husband and wife working together. No different to what’s going on outside with all of those small creatures working for us and each other.