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Growth of a family vegetable garden

Garden Share Collective December 2015


This month’s Garden Share Collective is based on the theme “growth“. Taking a literal approach to the month’s theme – spring is the month of noticeable growth after the dormancy of winter. There is an abundance of fresh growth and the promise of much more to come .The soil warms and the summer plants and the warm weather vegetables begin to grow and set.

Green spring growth

Last year at this time our vegetable garden was much more progressed, I know this because I can reflect back on my monthly garden posts to last year as well as review my garden journal.  This year the growth is less advanced – for numerous reasons. The weather most certainly has something to do with it, but in reality the difference in growth is because I have dedicated less time the garden across the entire year.

This year I have spent less time in the garden because I have been writing my first book, due to be published in March 2016. I have created and launched the Kitchen Garden Box in a bid to help other families easily start their own vegetable garden. This entire year has been focused on turning my passion for growing fresh food into something that others want to share, discover and be able to incorporate into their own lives.

As the year moves rapidly towards Christmas I have been reflecting on all that this year has presented and what next year may hold.  Over the past 5 years I have always had at least one garden helper (one of my children) to assist me in the garden.  This year my little garden companion has been at kinder. Next year he will join his big brother at school. This signals the end of a precious time for me, valuable family time.  I enjoy spending time with my little boy, chatting, teaching, playing and watching him as I pass on some of the things I would like him to know and understand about fresh food. I did the same (or even more) with his brother before he started school. My eldest son has always been naturally more interested in the vegetable garden and cooking than his brother.

gardening with kids

My eldest son helped me to establish our garden to the point it is today. We planted the raised beds each season, built the compost heap, a few scarecrows, and a worm farm. We spent many hours in the kitchen with him standing on a chair helping me cook our family dinner from our vegetable harvests. These are some of my most treasured memories of the past 5 years.

If you have young children I urge you to not let the brief childhood years pass by without spending some of it together in the dynamic learning environment that the garden provides.

Next year when my youngest son starts school I am thrilled that he will have the opportunity to learn and grow in a new environment, meet new friends and grow to be an independent learner.  I can’t help but feel a little sad to be loosing the opportunity to spend the amount of time with him that I have in the  past. Family time together in the garden will now need to fit in with after school activities and weekend events. Next year, in reality, I am likely to begin to spend the bulk of time in the vegetable garden on my own. I love to share the garden and all it involves with my children so will miss the presence of my little boy. I wonder if I will love the garden as much when it becomes my solitary space, rather than a family space where we create, harvest and enjoy the ingredients we add to our family meals?  Time will tell…..

Below you will find a few images of our garden progress at the end of spring. In summary – the tomatoes are in the beds, the pumpkins, zucchini and cucumbers are all planted and growing well. There are still many gaps in the garden beds awaiting planting that will be delayed until January. Each year the garden space is increased and this year is no different. This month I have had the opportunity to add a Vegepod to the garden. I will be sharing more about it’s features and my experience in the new year.

vegepod week1




apple tree


This month there has been plenty to harvest from the garden including the garlic which has been dried and braided. Unfortunately not nearly as large in size or as many bulbs as last year.

  • beans
  • beetroot
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • herbs: basil, chives, coriander, mint, parsley, sage, thyme
  • kale
  • lettuce
  • onion
  • radish
  • raspberries
  • spinach
  • spring onion
  • strawberries

garlic braids


  • Basil
  • Beetroot
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Radish
  • Rocket
  • Tomato
  • Zinnia


To do this month:

This month the garden activities will primarily be based on monitoring the growth of the plants.

Tomato plants will continue to have laterals pinched and be twisted onto their strings.

The small plants will continue to be monitored for pest damage. I will continue to add flowering bee friendly plants between the vegetables to assist with pollination.

I would love to hear about the growth in your vegetable garden as we move into summer.  How is your garden growing?


Use the link below to add your “growth” based theme post to the Garden Share Collective here or via Rosehips and Rhubarb.


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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Jill November 30, 2015, 2:24 pm

    That was a lovely post Kyrstie, thanks for sharing it. I look forward to your posts in the new year to hear about how your gardening evolves as a solo gardener

    • Kyrstie Barcak November 30, 2015, 3:13 pm

      Thank you Jill. I will keep you posted! Have a great month in the garden. I hope to see you joining us here for the Collective this month

  • Kate November 30, 2015, 10:13 pm

    My kids are much older than yours, and now much less interested in the garden than they used to be, but even the 21 year old is fascinated by the new chicks and they never refuse homemade jam or lemon curd.

  • Bek December 2, 2015, 2:25 pm

    Nice work! I have very fond memories of growing stuff in the backyard of my parents and grandparents, as I’m sure your boys will.

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