Thursday, June 8, 2017

In This New Phase of My Life, I've Become An Urban Gardener

Lunch today was a mix of veggies from local market and our garden
I have great news. At the beginning of June, I moved into a cottage to share with a business associate. It's a suburb that I'm not so familar with, as I would never have thought I could afford to live here. But the rent was surprisingly affordable.

At first, I questioned whether I could fit in here, because I'm surrounded by mansions in massive yards, and it's a gated community with security guards around. Seriously larney and not exactly what my poor hippie self is used to.

But the place met most of needs and wants: my housemate has a medium-sized urban garden behind the kitchen and a courtyard, growing vegetables, fruit and herbs. She invited me to share the space with her, and I'm free to contribute to the garden and grow what I like there. So, moving to the city does not mean I have to give up my gardening. Yaay!

The garden is well-cared for, with rich soil packed full of leaves and other organic matter. She has an established habit of saving all the vegetable and fruit peels from the kitchen and feeding them to the garden. She is also talking about establishing a worm farm.

Everyday we pick stuff from the garden - rocket, cherry tomatoes, collard greens, mint and other herbs to use in our meal preparation. Yesterday I planted more collard greens and cherry tomatoes in the garden.

I'm still wary of digging in the plot because I'm not quite sure what seeds she may have stuck in there, but once I get to know the garden, I'm going to have fun preparing the soil for Spring planting. For now, we are growing spinach, sweet potatoes, spring onions, carrots, tomatoes, a lime tree, rocket, collard greens growing in there. We also have numerous pots full of herbs, trees and shrubs and ornamental plants in a sunny courtyard.

My housemate is vegan ( and trying to introduce me to that eating lifestyle). I'm not quite convinced I want to go that route as I love eggs and milk and meat and trully, I don't know if I want to live without bacon.  But I'm not fighting her too hard and still get my animal products when I need to. So it's not a major issue.

So, I'm going to have a lot of fun planting vegetables I like/ that I can't easily get from the market there. To start with, I know I'm going to grow chilli, egg plant, lots of spinach, Chinese cabbage, carrots, onions, leeks, basil, spring onions, cucumber and butternut. I'm also going to attempt growing strawberries again. Oh, I'm sooo excited, because unlike the semi-desert that is Phokeng, the weather in Johannesburg is very kind to growers, with plenty of rain. Just thinking about what I'm going to plant makes me restless, wishing the time was here and I could start already.

Anyhoo, I'm grateful that you have been very patient following my erratic postings and I hope you will stay and follow my new adventure. I expect to learn a lot from this, and will share my experiences as I go along.


  1. It is good to see your blog in my feed again. Glad to know you are doing well.

  2. Hello stranger. I see you have moved to the city and have a garden as well. That is wonderful and just up your alley. I am looking forward to seeing more blog posts from now on. Hint, hint!

    1. Thanks Nana Chel. I'm planning to post more too. Still trying to get my bearings, but very excited about the prospects of my new garden. At least, this new area is not prone to dry heat at Phokeng is, so I expect growing food won't be as much of a struggle. I expect it will give me a lot more to say.