The Good Life

30 Sep

Being a parent is full of very simple pleasures that make you smile without even knowing your doing it. I am sure I have smiled more since Max has been on the scene than ever before. Watching on as Max reads a book to himself or makes a new friend at the park will have me grinning from ear to ear, these moments are best enjoyed from afar, not unlike stalking.

Another simple pleasure that we enjoy year round is feeding Max from our allotment. One of the best decisions we have made during our five year Antipodean Adventure was getting a plot at Veg Out Community Gardens in St Kilda (http://www.vegout.asn.au/). This is not your usual collection of old farts talking about how things have changed since they were a lad and working on revolutionary ways to kill slugs. Veg Out is vibrant, dynamic, artistic and usually offers someone to share a beer and a natter with at the end of a day’s Dadding and digging.

The allotment is a haven for Dad and Son alike. Max will while away his time feeding the chickens, terrorising the guinea pigs, erecting sand castles, desperately trying to work out how to work a hose or stealthily pilfering strawberries from other plots when he gets peckish. I will simply find a nice bench in the sun, sit back and watch it all unfold, smiling contentedly to myself and thinking how lucky I am (even luckier if I happen to be holding a cold beer at the time).  

It raises a few eyebrows amongst friends when we turn down a beer garden in favour of a community one but there is something wonderful about watching your son strip a tomato plant, that you have grown, of its bounty and greedily gobble them up. It requires a little more imagination through the winter mouths when the weather is not quite as welcoming and the veg is overwhelmingly green and not quite as appealing, think cabbages and sprouts.

I have great memories of accompanying my own Dad to his allotment when I was a lad and am sure that it contributed to an appreciation of fresh air and even fresher food. Max is already showing some fingered potential and whilst I am wielding a spade he will happily pick up a trowel and dig like Dad. Father and son usually arrive home from the Gardens a bit smellier, a lot dirtier, a tad tireder and a heap happier.

For the price of a weekly food shop (the annual fee) I have some priceless memories, a ready supply of fresh, organic, tasty food to feed the family and some fantastic friendships. I would whole heartedly encourage others to sniff out (follow the smell of ripe compost and manure) your local Community Gardens or Allotments and enjoy a slice of The Good Life for yourself.

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10 Responses to “The Good Life”

  1. yvettebowyer October 2, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    ohh I lived in the UK for 7 years.. I wanted an allotment of my own… just like Eastenders!!!

    We need a garden as our backyard is a tiny patio.. must try and sort it out!!

    looks like the lil man enjoyed himself!

    #teamIBOT

  2. iSophie October 2, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    There is nothing like the satisfaction of your own children picking home grown goodies from the garden and eating them on the spot.

  3. Trish MLDB October 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I Am just restarting our vegie plot , we have acres of land to grow our own. What a lovely way to spend time with your boy.

    • daddownunder October 3, 2012 at 2:11 am #

      Acres! – I’m very jealous, we have about 2metre squared but its still lots of fun

  4. miss.cinders October 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    My kids love home grown veg. Since moving into town I have trouble getting them to eat store bought produce… it has no taste they tell me. And I have to agree. It’s just not the same.

    • daddownunder October 3, 2012 at 2:13 am #

      Your kids talk a lot of sense : ) Tomatoes are the clincher for me

  5. jess@diaryofasahm October 3, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    Oh nice! I planted a veggie garden this year and loved it. Now that the weather is warming up, my four year old asked if we could plant watermelons so we did. Great activity to do together.
    Thanks for linking 🙂

  6. thebeesleybuzz October 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    great post! One of my friends once said that she had heard that gardeners are the happiest people in the world and I think there is a lot of truth in that. We’ve had a successful year (well for us as we are usually not very green fingered!) this year – 4 pumpkins, some green beans and 1 green tomato.

    • daddownunder October 10, 2012 at 1:13 am #

      I would generally agree with you but my dad’s a gardener and he can be a right miserable git (only joking Dad)! Did you make something nice with your tomatoe?

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