One of the real joys of summer in Queensland is growing crops such as capsicum, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and rocket, English spinach, eggplant and parsley. Here's some of our favourites:
- A chilli bush is easy to grow, takes up very little space and ard will often be a big producer. If you can't eat all the chillies them all place ripe fruit in a bag and place in the freezer so they are ready for your next delicious stir-fry, maybe with some home grown coriander.
- Mint loves the warm weather but prefers a shady, cooler spot in the garden so hide it in a corner where the summer sun doesn't shine. Pick the leaves and enjoy it in a cold glass of mineral water on a hot day. Watercress will share a spot of shade with your mint and is great in salads.
- If you are limited for garden space or have an apartment with a balcony why not grow tomatoes andcucumbers in flexible tubs with trellis frames. The trellis frames give the plants plenty of ventilation and make the produce easy to pick. The finer the spaces in the trellis frame the more likely you can keep the possums out of your crops too. Roma Tomatoes are a more compact bush variety and putting in some basil too will give you a lovely salad combination. Not only will there be loads of produce coming off quite a small space, but you can rest assured knowing that you'll be using water as efficiently as possible with the tubs.
There is a lot to be said for growing your own fruit and vegetables. If you're like us you probably hate the idea of eating foods (and providing them for your family) that may have been grown with chemicals. Not only that, the foods you buy from the supermarket may have been in cold storage for days or even weeks before you take them home. This means that the life energy of the plant you're going to eat has dramaticaly reduced. The only thing to worsen this situation would be to then to microwave the 'fresh' produce and completely destroy the remainder of its life energy. When you eat something that is still living you absorb its life energy, which has additional health benefits.
An organic vegetable garden offers us so much towards a healthy lifestyle including fresh air, exercise, sunshine, knowledge, cost savings, stress relief and fresh food, (which will be rich in vitamins and minerals and harvested at the just the right time for the perfect combination of taste and nutrition). A study by Newcastle University concluded that fruit, vegetables and reared cattle on adjacent organic and non-organic sites across Europe contained up to 40% more antioxidants when the prduce was farmed organically than non-organically.
Feeling a sense of pride, accomplishment and knowing that your vegetables have not been exposed to chemicals as you watch the fruits of your labour begin to flourish makes them worth their weight in gold.