Thursday, 8 November 2012


Growing up I always took for granted that Dad would over take most of the backyard, in every house we lived in, with a vegetable garden. Dad likes to be doing “stuff”, even now when he is in his mid-seventies, he still likes to do “stuff”, and he says he gets bored with only working part-time. So I knew Dad would be perfect on so many levels to help me with my new project.

Even before we moved in this house the one thing I hated was the backyard. Before we signed the rental agreement we were promised it would be cleaned up. Twelve months of phone calls and emails to the real estate agent, the back yard still looked like part of an abandoned house. With Jarvis getting older and starting to walk, I knew there was no way I could ever let him into the backyard to play; it would be just too dangerous.

So with the dual reasons, of wanting to clean up the back yard and wanting to plant my own veggie garden, the clean up began. It is amazing what one 74 year old man and two women in their 40s can do. I think it also helped my sister was in a pissed off mood when she came over. There is nothing like a woman angry at her partner to get her welding a sledge hammer with amazing gusto.

Over the space of four days, we demolished the old pool and fence. It probably would have been quicker, bar for the fact my father is a man possessed when he gets a chainsaw in his hands. Never trust him when he says he is “just going to trim those trees back a little”. It took eight trailer loads to the dump to clean up. We kept what boards we could to re-use. But before I went to France, we were left with a clean backyard. ok, a big dirt patch, but it was free of dangers.

This week, dad and I have started to build our, (and I will have to say our as this will be as much Dad’s project as mine) garden beds. Next is the trailer loads of dirt and a final clean up. Then we can get planting!

I know it is crazy to go to all of this work in a rental, we won’t mention Jarvis’s bedroom, but I think it will be worth it. Not only will we save money in the long term, we will get fresh vegetable and herbs. Plus most important, I can control what goes into our food. I can either keep our produce organic, or at the very least use fertilizer and pest control that I approve of. 

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