A small step in the right direction – my veggie patch

The Dalai Lama espouses a view that to restrain yourself to theoretical ideas and debates only is to restrain your ideas. A balance is needed between philosophy and acting in concert with that philosophy.

With this in mind, I set about building my own veggie patch.

Given the effects on the environment of large-scale, single product farming (land clearing and its resultant effects) and the huge distances that produce travels before it reaches our shelves (CO2 emissions), the simple act of growing some of your own food is small but effective action.

Of course, with the environment in mind and wanting to reduce my consumption of new materials, I took stock of what used items I could use. I found:

– and old corrugated water tank lying unused on my parents-in-law’s property;

– corrugated iron sheets from the local tip shop;

– chicken wire, an old fishing line on a reel, old cd’s and some metal bits and pieces.

This was the result:

I am by no means a handyman, or at least I wasn’t. Using a barely used angle grinder, I cut the water tank into quarters, using two of the quarters as the ends of this patch and saving two for another patch. I then dug a deep bed, inserting the iron around the edges.

Using the chicken wire and some stakes I’ve cordoned off the veggie patch from any unwanted, ground dwelling visitors, and using the fishing wire, CD’s and metal bits, I’ve hung the CD’s and metal bits off the fishing wire. The CD’s reflect light and the metal bits clang together in the wind, keeping the birds away without the worry of them being caught in netting.

The patch is organic, using decomposing leaf litter I cleaned out of my gutters and some chicken manure from a local property as fertiliser.

As can be seen from the photo, I already have some peas growing well. Also growing are some potatoes (which were simply grown from potatoes previously purchased which had started to sprout), some brussels sprouts and some carrots, all of which are growing well.

My thumbs are by no means green – I’m learning to do these things as I go. The know-how to  grow veggies have been derived largely from gardening books found at the local op shops. These are a great resource and give many different ideas for all types and sizes of gardens.

As for using an angle grinder, reading some general safety hints online, using some protective equipment and being especially careful, has now given me the confidence to grind away at anything now.

An environmental action, tastier and organic produce and some enjoyable, outdoor work, all rolled into one.

Feel free to leave your feed back, ask any questions or share your own stories.



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