Food

GARDENING: From the Soil To the Plate #LockdownDelights

By Pinky Khoabane Pictures by Nokuthula Khoabane-Mabuza

THIS column on gardening was supposed to start last week. Well, I didnt come around to starting it. Thankfully, with time on one’s side, thanks to the #Lockdown, I’ve been able to write something….

I always loved gardening. I grew up with a father who woke up at about 5:30am to go and work in the garden. He still does the same at his young age of 88. There was just about every basic vegetable in my father’s garden, not for the upper class if I may put it that way  and it became the community market where people could come and buy vegetables, milk and at times chickens – at a pittance, it must be said. 

In our garden, we have a range of vegetables and herbs, a number of fruit trees and . In the past two days we harvested some cucumbers which we thought we could pickle during the #Lockdown, only to discover we didnt have vinegar. 

Seeds

I buy seeds from the nursery or use those from the vegetables we’ve bought from a supermarket. Chillies, green peppers, tomatoes, peas, beans – all I do is dry them and plant them in little pots and later transplant them to bigger pots or plan them in the garden. 

Here is a tray of peas and another vegetable I cant remember. I can see there are peas in here because one of the seeds has come to the top. 

A tray of seeds, some are beginning to germinate

Sometimes I just throw seeds from the kitchen into a plant pot and forget about them until they start germinating. Here is a bunch of what I think are chillies that I will be transplanting to bigger pots (in times of lockdown, I will be making pots from plastic bottle bottoms). Will update in future columns. 

A pot of germinated seeds of what I think are chillies.

Here is a mint plant and a strawberry plant. 

I generally plant the mint in the garden to repel insects which eat other plants. Then of course, its makes wonderful tea. The strawberries and mint will be part of the #LockdownDelights Project I’ve started on the wall – a vegetable garden. 

A Mint Plant
A strawberry plant

Vertical gardening 

Vertical gardens not only add a beautiful feature to the house but they address the issue of space for those with small properties. Here’s our #LockdownDelight 2 

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