Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Veggie Patch that Could

I’ve not got the slightest green thumb, but I decided growing a veggie patch with the kids would be a great way to help them at least TRY new vegetables. I read somewhere that kids are often more inclined to eat veggies if they’re involved in the process of growing them. I’ve already found this helps a bit if I involve them in the cooking process, as they definitely want to try their pizzas filled with all sorts of veggies that they put on top. (In our house, you don’t get any cheese or ham unless you put at least two different coloured veggies on your mini pizzas first!)
I started small and planted some herbs (basil, parsley and mint) and a patch of cherry tomatoes – as I didn’t want to jump into something too hard to manage before I was ready – but they never grew. Despite my regular watering and care to ensure they were planted in a spot that got good sun nothing popped up. I felt entirely defeated! I did a little Googling and it seemed that potentially there was something wrong with the soil in my yard.
I decided to call SESL Australia about doing a soil test to see what was wrong with it and just as I suspected, my soil was broken! It seemed the acidity was a touch too high and was stopping the seeds absorbing the nutrients they needed to sprout.
They were even able to recommend what I should do to fix it, which was amazing. I was even able to pick up the compost and manure they recommended from our local nursery. And we could do this all via the mail and over the phone – which made it much easier with the kids.
So I replanted the seeds after the fix and this morning, the very first seedlings popped up through the soil. The kids were so excited to see that their vigilant watering was paying off and have already named the handful of little leaves (At least three of them are called Sarah). Little do they know that handful will quickly turn into great big bunches of glorious food.
Now I’ve just got to think of some good recipes to cook with the kids in the hopes of encouraging them to try tarragon. Perhaps I’ll make some chicken, mayo and tarragon sandwiches for our next picnic at the beach.

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