Nothing better than vegies straight from the garden

I WAS wandering around the supermarket at the weekend looking at the fruit and veg and it got me thinking back to the good old days.

It took me way, way back to the era when my father grew all of his own vegetables. We didn't realise when we were kids just how lucky we were.

There's something special about the taste of vegies straight out of the garden, into the pot and onto the plate - and it's something that supermarket vegies have no chance whatsoever of emulating.

My dad had a huge garden. It took up the greater part of our large backyard.

He had a path down the centre, and each year he would grow spuds on one side and all the rest on the other.

He maintained (and I think he was right) that alternating root crops with above-the-ground crops was a safe way to stave away the chance of nasty bugs and gremlins.

At the end of each growing season dad and his kids would dig up all the potatoes.

There were enough to last us right through the winter. We'd sprinkle an anti-shooting compound on them and then store them in sacks in the garage in a cool, dark place.

The crop on the other side was eaten as it was ready.

We had everything imaginable and we ate well - all from our own garden and they cost a pittance in comparison with what you paid at the local fruit and veg shop.

Once the garden was empty at the end of summer, dad would sow a good nitrogen-producing crop such as lupin or mustard and others I can't remember.

They would grow slowly through the winter and a few weeks out from the end of October the garden would be dug over and prepared for the coming summer season.

Dad experimented with all manner of fertilisers and new-to-the-market products, always seeking the ultimate in excellence in the food he provided for our plates. Ah, those were the days.

The good old days when people grew their own stuff rather than drove to the supermarket.

And they made their own biscuits and cakes, rather than buying the expensive items on the grocery shelves.

Those were the days when we lived on the land and relied on what we could grow on the land.

I wonder what happened. Did we just get too busy?

Topics:  allen winter gardening opinion vegetables

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