Can you imagine some of the impacts planting a few seeds would have on your family?
I would like you to meet Moira. Moira is a nurse, she is married and has two beautiful girls. Two years ago she agreed to trial the prototype of the Kitchen Garden Box® prior to it’s launch. Her family was one of the those I worked with to seek feedback before finalising the design and release.
I caught up with her last week to have a look at her garden and chat about some of the changes she has noticed about the way they approach food in their home over the last two years. I love her story because although the changes are great, they have been incremental transformations that have naturally compounded and grown.
Below are some of the changes that have occurred for Moira’s family lifestyle, approach to food and the way their outdoor space at home is set up.
I asked Moira to describe her level of gardening knowledge and why she agreed to be involved in testing the initial version of the Kitchen Garden Box®. This is her response:
I’m not a gardener. I agreed to try it because my 7 year old daughter was keen to have a garden. She had asked for a fruit tree as her Christmas gift and was desperate to have a garden.
Garden Set Up
Do you really need the “perfect” garden set up to get started? The day I dropped off the Kitchen Garden Box® Moira didn’t have a garden, her husband had agreed to build one. I walked away after dropping off the Box wondering if it would be built, I pondered the motivation, time and resource commitment to establish the infrastructure needed to get started.
It happened as planned and Moira says that despite the initial expense of the garden set up it has been well worth it.
The Box gave us direction. We wouldn’t have done it otherwise. I would not have gone to Bunnings and gotten all the plants. There is no way. The seasonal break down made it achievable and easy to follow. The resource cards are awesome.
Moira and her husband introduced me to the idea of using worm tubes in the garden beds. You can see the white pipes sticking up from the garden bed in the images below. They have holes drilled near the base of each one and a cover to keep out birds and pests. Compost food scraps can be placed directly into them and be allowed to decompose over time.
This is something I have now added to my own garden beds, and I often add them to customer vegetable gardens. I especially like to add them the Kindergarten vegetable gardens I set up as it provides the children with the opportunity to.
This single bed vegetable garden has had an impact on the whole layout of the outdoor space of the home. The side of the house has become a chook-run and the family now collects fresh eggs daily.
In the past the front yard was rarely used. It could have been used as an entry point to the home. This space now has a beautiful path with steps leading to the area and fruit trees have been added. These fruit trees will act as a screen to cover the storage of a caravan. The caravan had previously clogged the driveway area. Now the driveway has beautiful espaliered fruit trees lining it. On the day of my visit they were about to burst into Spring blossom.
A veggie patch with constant lettuce and spinach, snow peas, corn and a tomato plant. 1 ballerina apple tree, 3 espaliered fruit trees (grafted apple pink lady and Granny Smith, mandarin and a peach) lining the drive and 3 more recently added. And chooks! We’ve come along way and it started with a box
Approach to Food
Before: There were many seeds included in the Box that Moira said they were initially not keen to use because they were not vegetables and herbs the family ate. The family meals commonly consisting of plain meat and basic vegetables.
Now: Over the past two years Moira’s daughters have been introduced to, and will eat, a variety of flavours they wouldn’t have eaten previously. The addition of a Thermomix into the home has been an additional step and motivation to incorporate more fresh ingredients from the garden into the family meals resulting in more family food being made from scratch. Moira’s family now eat very few packaged foods, instead making them from scratch, including stock made from garden ingredients and she has a stash of frozen tomato puree from last year’s tomatoes that are regularly added to family meals. Her family don’t love to eat tomatoes but they do love the meals she adds the puree to over the other months of the year. Chooks, worm tubes in the garden and compost are some of the way the family deals with and transforms food waste.
It has been a huge change from where we used to be. There is no food waste as we give it to the chooks. There is not enough for the compost now!
Both girls help in the garden and choose what to plant and grow. They regularly pick and eat snacks straight from the garden after school. Moira’s daughter’s apple tree (that instigated the garden) provided fruit for the girls lunch boxes last season. They LOVED it!
The benefit, aside from the food; and growing carrots for Santa and salads, has been the time we have spent together, and watching the girls eat straight from the garden.