I have been growing my own this summer. We inherited a sand pit, which seemed to become the local litter tray. I got so sick of looking at it, so this summer we dug it out, filled it with rubble, then compost and started growing some vegetables: rocket, radish, little gem and beetroot, amongst other things.
It was all going very well, I’ve enjoyed it, it was nice to be able to nip out and pick salad leaves for supper. But then recently, something has completely decimated my rocket, there were holes all over it so I had to cut it all back. Most people seem to agree that it is cabbage white butterflies and I have seen them everywhere; the smug, fluttery, rocket eating bastards.
Then today, I went to have a look at the beetroot as I thought it must be ready now. As I looked at the veg patch, I noticed beetroot leaves lying down, it had been a hot day and I thought they must have just wilted. I pulled at some leaves but they were attached to nothing, they were just leaves. I pulled at some more, again nothing. A bit nonplussed, I pulled a beetroot, it looked fab, I was so pleased with it but as I turned it around in my hands, the other side had gnaw marks on it. SOME CREATURE HAD BEEN AT MY BEETROOT. And in that moment, I understood Mr McGregor’s anger and frustration.
Growing your own requires a lot of work, even if it’s just a few things. You have to look after it all, weed it, remember to water it; I can barely do that with the children (THAT’S A JOKE. A. JOKE). It takes time, so when some creature (I think it’s a rat) comes in and destroys your crop, it is irksome to say the least.
But following a brief moment of pique where I swore I would wage war against the bastards much to the bemusement of my older offspring; “WE SHALL FIGHT IN THE VEGETABLE PATCHES, WE SHALL DEFEND OUR BEETROOT, WHATEVER THE COST MAY BE!”, I sort of realised it would require rather a lot more time and effort, and well, I just sort of couldn’t be arsed.
I don’t have time for battles with rodents, I shall have to leave that to the Monty Dons of this world. Perhaps I will have another crack at growing my own when the boys are older but for the moment, I am too time poor. I thought it would be something nice to do with the boys and actually get them to consume something green, however past the initial excitement of planting the seeds, then watching them sprout, they couldn’t give two hoots. If it’s not Pokemon or Minecraft, they’re not interested.
My tomatoes are doing well though, I will grow those again and herbs seem to take care of themselves. The heat of this summer finished off my nasturtiums though, so any hope of making an arty, wanky salad has sadly gone. I had a lovely vision of having friends over and serving up my home grown produce, which probably serves me right for being so bloody smug. I can’t imagine any of my friends wanting to eat nasturtiums anyway, I can see the look of ‘What the f*&k?!’ plastered on their faces as I dish up what is essentially pot pourri for supper. I need friends like Nigella for that, who seem to happily eat whatever she places in front of them but then, as we now know, those “friends” were paid.
Rather true friends who will happily demolish a plain old bowl of spag bol than fake nasturtium eating friends.