We are blessed to live in a house with a large section, many big fruit trees and berry bushes and through much hard work, a large vege garden and some flower gardens.
While it may seem like a bit of a chore, we find it quite fun, with basically the whole family getting stuck in – Joseph in charge of it all, me helping and Big Rose rummaging through the dirt and weeds in search of edible goods. Although lately she is more taken with finding bugs and hitting things with sticks.
It is quite a high (and good for the budget) to sit down at the end of the day for a meal of homegrown produce. We have been trying to use it all well, making preserves and chutneys (like rhubarb chutney, tomato relish and honey pickled beetroot), freezing fruit and beans for future use and baking our multitude of courgettes into toddler friendly savoury muffins for the freezer for easy lunches/snacks.
I only need say “lets go outside” and a titchy toddler turns into an inquisitive little girl, trotting barefoot across the lawn, chubby hand outstretched towards a flower so her wrinkled up nose can sniff at it or she can attempt to eat it petal by petal. Or she could be aiming for the cherry tomatoes and come out mouth stained with tomato seeds and dirt for kisses (she managed to get some seeds up my nose the other day).
Our four hyline hens provide good chasing, until they think that little fingers are food and take a nip. But surprisingly she has forgotten about this the next time she comes into their territory. Its also quite exciting seeing how many eggs they have left us at the end of the day (the eggs make great bright yellow colours in cooking).
So generally having our garden I think makes us feel much healthier and happier. I know its good for my sanity anyway…