Last spring I was delighted to be able to prepare and start my own garden. I started out by planting French beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Lettuce (eaten by some night animal), Coste (similar to Spinach), Cucumber, Aubergines and Courgettes. Some were gifts from kind neighbours and others I bought in the garden centre. It was a fantastic learning experience, tending to the seedlings as they grew and watering in the evenings to ensure the plants were not shrivelled up from the summer sun. The least exciting part is weeding off course, however in the end it was well worth it, the summer harvest was bountiful. Delicious tasty homegrown delights. Now in September it is all picked having been shared and eaten with family and friends.
Here in Italy I am now grateful and fortunate to be able to clean up the summer garden and prepare for autumn vegetables. It seems that the weather is good enough to allow for the new growth. So I am excited to have planted Beetroot, Fennel, Brocolli, Red Lettuce (Radicchio), Cauliflower, White and Black Cabbage. Again like in the springtime a good bit of preparation is required. To ensure I did it within the window of early September planting I had to tackle it in one hit. The day was dry and the neighbours were available to advise and help. So after a hot day and following a good workout, everything is planted.
I am now looking forward to a new harvest later in October / November. One thing that I have loved about the whole experience is the metaphors of nature that we can apply to our own lives. The need to plant seeds, to nurture them to allow growth and ultimately benefit from our efforts when we harvest the results. The other benefits that I have enjoyed have been able to learn from more experienced gardeners, to get kids and their friends involved in harvesting so they see how some plants actually grow and to be able to share the fruits of our labour with others.