I've been thinking. (Uh-oh, says half the world - knowing how dangerous that can be!)

It's time for me to start growing some of our food. I'm tired of merely waving at the fruit & veg section of Checkers, with things increasingly being way outside our budget. We're not getting nearly enough fresh stuff in, and we don't know where it's coming from when we do.

Now I can't go and grow chickens in my yard or stick a cow on the communal lawn, but the leafy stuff I can manage.

Talk of vertical gardening and plants in pots has me thinking long and hard about my available space, angles of sun at various seasons, work space vs un-used space and all sorts of other things.

And I've come up with a plan.

I need to practice my welding and/or woodworking skills, but that's going to happen really soon. Because I need to make a framework for a couple of vertical endeavours.

Like (for example) lengths of discarded plastic gutter pipe, blanked off at the ends, drainage holes added, filled with growth medium (soil, compost etc) and planted with things that don't need to go down too far. Then there's the hanging tomato plant idea I've been eyeing for ages. Easy enough to make, with added extras growing on top. My neighbours may be hanging flowers from their porches - me, I'm going to go edible landscaping. I've already got some herbs in pots out the front and one strawberry plant that has given us 2 strawberries this season. Bit on the small-scale-farming side, but nevertheless :-)

If I want to go a bit bigger, I could do the Mediterranean thing and put a lemon tree in a terracotta planter. Or an apple tree. Or an olive tree. A lack of soil on my plot doesn't mean I can't grow anything! Just take a look at the weeds pushing up between brick and wall on one side.. :-)

Then there's the kitchen windowsill vs herbs - always a good idea, except for the darn southeaster which may knock the plants into the sink. Hmmm... may need to rethink that.

Here's the thing though - I'm tired of not having a lot of fresh food around. Of not being able to pick half my supper from outside the door. Of not knowing where my food's come from, who's handled it, or how ripe it was when they prematurely plucked it from the plant and stuck it under nitrogen to ripen it. I'm tired of tasteless and wilted and expensive.

Summer's coming - 'tis the season for being outdoors and growing stuff without the winter rain washing it all away. I know where to find just about everything I need free of charge. There's really no excuses - time to get to it.

Best thing of all? It's portable. If I have to up and go places, my garden goes too.

Private Property