Monday, 21 January 2008


I have sent an email replying to a bloke's request, through this blog, to help him start a vegetable garden. This person will be the first of many, I hope, that I can help personally to take charge of their eating and begin to enjoy the rewards that we gardeners already know, that come with picking something from your own garden. Pattie has called it becoming a "Companion Gardener" and I like this name. I am a one-on-one type person and I can't believe my luck that someone has come to me for help just when I was thinking how am I going to find someone without using up my gardening time. I hope he gets back to me soon and we can start getting the worms working and building up the soil so we can plant in autumn.

A couple of nights ago I sat amongst a group of people I didn't know, at a friend's place for dinner. The hosts and most of the guests worked together at the Waite Campus . Anyway, they do agricultural experiments and stuff and talked a lot about work. I sat there quietly (yes, I can be very quiet, you may be surprised to know!) thinking of Pattie's challenge and realising this was a place to start. Nobody asked me what I did for at least 3 hours - not unusual, I find, and I didn't offer as there is always this feeling I have that I am less of a person in the eyes of such people, because I don't have a career. (I, however, see this quite differently!) My young neighbour at the table didn't noticeably gasp with horror when I replied to her question about what I do, with "I grow vegetables". I had thought about what my answer would be if anyone thought to ask me and I decided to get right on with "the challenge" !

We talked for quite a while, she was so lovely, and I gave her the blog address (maybe she will read this too) and then my neighbour on the other side, who had heard the odd word about gardening, asked me about her garden, or lack of, and I thought this would be my chance, as she had once tried to grow spinach. We spent ages talking and she became so excited about the whole thing. However, she lives too far away from me for me to become her "companion gardener" but maybe I should have given her my phone number. Anyway I didn't . How far are you prepared to go to help someone start a new garden? 5 minutes drive, 10 ? 20 ? I would go 5, or better still, in walking distance. It's one thing to start helping someone, it's quite another to keep it up for some months or longer and, for that, it needs to be convenient. Luckily and by great coincidence, the bloke who sent the email to me is only 5 minutes away!

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Chook said...

You're already my companion gardener even though you didn't know it! Every time I need to know something or I'm not sure if I should try something, I just bounce the idea off you and you set me going on it. It's made a huge difference to my garden!

Kate said...

That couldn't make me happier, Chook. In fact I just skipped out to the kitchen, after I read your comment and I haven't done that for a couple of months!

Pattie said...

Kate: You're MY companion gardener and you're halfway around the world! Skip on!