Veggies: Grow your own

Ever fancied trying to grow your own vegetables? Well after my relatively successful attempt at growing peppers last year I’ve decided to try and grow some other vegetables this year. To be brutally honest  I’m not sure which way this attempt will go. A friend of mine asked my advice about growing kale the other day and I realised I didn’t know a thing about kale. This made me go and research to find out a little bit more about this intriguing vegetable. I’ve also decided to try my hands at growing peas and tomatoes, the latter I think will be a breeze and also some chilli peppers. You are probably wondering why I chose these vegetables. To answer that I’d have to confess that there isn’t actually a reason other than I figured there it was pointless growing ‘veg’ I’m unlikely to use.

My new seed collection

The ones I’ve chosen sound fairly straightforward so I have bought some grow bags (ekk) and seeds from a local store. I’ve decided not to buy any expensive seeds as I don’t know which way this attempt will go. I’ve even treated myself to a mini green house and I’m feeling very ‘professional’. Sometimes as adults we forget how much experiences in childhood imprints on us and very recently has it become more conscious in my mind how I have been shaped by my early childhood memories. When my parents bought their first house there was a large expanse of land behind it. It wasn’t really allocated to anyone and somehow we turned it to a mini farm. My mom and ‘aunties and uncles’  who lived With us at that time planted cassava, tomatoes, guava, maize, a banana and a plantain tree. At some point there was even a pawpaw tree. I remember that many children in the estate liked to come and pick the guava fruit without asking for permission and received a good scolding from my mother – “Just ask she would say, its not yours so ask for permission before you take”. She used to make guava stew , a delicious pudding which we had with condensed milk. Just thinking of the guava stew now makes me salivate and dream of  my other ‘home’.

Photo courtesy : Sakurai Midori

The pawpaw tree we had occasionally produced  fruit and so did the banana tree. For some reason the plantain tree never produced any, to this day I wonder why.Maybe it was a male plant. I might need to research that as well. Anyway, we eventually got rid of it. I even remember after the first harvest of cassava we had to ask someone from Badagry to help us prepare it and convert it to the local garri.

Photo Courtsey : David Monniaux

We didn’t have the tools or expertise so we needed some help. Eventually it was discovered that the cassava plant was attracting snakes in the area so we stopped planting it. My memory is a bit jaded but I think the maize was the easiest to grow and we enjoyed several feasts of boiled corn throughout the  years we grew them. It’s a shame many of these fruits or vegetable wouldn’t survive the British weather, I’d love to replicate my childhood growing memories with my daughter. Maybe we can make new ones, we’ll have to see.

I’ll be planting these seeds in the next week or so and if you care to join me in my vegetable challenge follow me on Instagram @ Gardenraf. Would love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section of my blog and tell me which vegetables you enjoy growing or wish you could grow.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Tolu Obayomi says:

    I have a big garden and I want to start growing my veggies. Please keep me posted on how yours fare. I don’t have a greenhouse…I envy you


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