My husband grew up on a hobby farm in the Macedon Ranges (about an hour’s drive from Melbourne), and we often drive up to visit his parents, take in the fresh air and sample whatever fruits and veggies were growing that season. In May 2012, we decided to dig up a patch of our own and start experimenting, which has been an invaluable learning experience about where food comes from, from farm to table.
In winter, we’ve had great luck with hardy cold-climate greens like kale, spinach, broccoli and cabbage, plus cauliflower, garlic, onions and parsley. Last summer, we had a bounty of tomatoes, zucchini and basil, and we’re lucky to collect the plums, loquats, apricots, persimmons and other delights that my in-laws grow. Nearly all of the eggs we eat come from the chickens on this farm, as does our olive oil, which is cold-pressed from the 300kg of of black and green olives picked each season.
It’s not all success though. Sweet peas and bell peppers (two of my favorites) don’t work for us. It’s just about figuring out the right combination of what you’d like to grow, with what is possible given the circumstances (climate, space, pests) and going at it with an open mind.
Below you’ll find a collection of posts about our adventures as alter-ego farmers and balcony gardening, plus recipes made from what we’ve grown ourselves.