At last month’s blogger meet up we decided to engage in a little blog bursting and chose the topic of gardening. So I thought this would be the perfect time to bring up my attempts at trying to establish a garden in my own backyard.

A little bit of thyme

Now I’ve done this once before with the help of my talented dad. I did manage to grow a fine garden and even produced a few green peppers, chili peppers, cherry tomatoes, herbs and an onion or two. It was a great feeling. That was over 2 years ago. So here I am again, desparately trying to get the garden going and so far, it ain’t looking so good.

Why bother? Growing up my parents tended a garden in our backyard. It provided us with so many of the things we ate everyday. They were new to the country and brought with them much of their culture and knowledge of how to cultivate land. My mom baked her own bread, made pasta from scratch, canned tomatoes. What we didn’t have, relatives or neighbours did. Zucchini from Pietro and Giovanna’s house were always a hit (my nonna would make an outstanding stew with it).

Tomatoes and herbs from my nonna's garden
Tomatoes and herbs from my nonna's garden

But as we grew older, the garden disappeared, no more bread baking and the pasta was made fresh only once a week (still making the tomato sauce in the driveway every year though).

Rosemary I've been growing since last year

We’ve lost touch with how our food is produced and I guess I just want to try and reconnect with it.  As much as I hate manual labour, I love the feeling I get when those tomatoes get ripe and are picked off the vine, when you break off a stem of fresh rosemary or pull an onion out of the dirt. It’s intoxicating!

If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you might have an idea why such a fuss is being made about food lately. Prices are creeping upward and it often seems like we get less and less local products on the shelves. Living in Essex County there’s really no reason why the aisles shouldn’t be overflowing with seasonal asparagus, apples, mushrooms, and so many of the other produce grown in the region.

That is why I’m in the midst of a new project.

The hope is to try and re-establish that connection, to develop a better relationship than I currently have with food, to get people talking about it and to develop a community where we can be informed and learn. Keep an eye out for it in the next little while! We’ll be announcing it’s launch on WindsorEats.

And I’ll keep you posted on my gardening adventures!