Harvest time in the city

A couple of years ago we lived in a townhouse with a tiled courtyard and raised flower beds. For the first time since eating from my grand parent’s garden we were able to grow a delicious crop of rhubarb and lettuces.

Encouraged by our success when we moved to a house with a small garden, I planted basil seeds in pots and took more care of the potted fruit trees my partner had been giving me over the years.

This Summer we have been enjoying mint, basil, rosemary, bay leaf, thyme, oregano and marjoram. As the Autumn chill has crept into the mornings we have been harvesting. The olives will be ready on 9th May, the lemons and limes are ripening nicely and my partner has made basil pesto. I can’t find the right words to describe the deeply seated inner satisfaction of being able to grow, eat and share some of our food.

All you need is a bit of space, a little time and a sprinkle of patience to reap the benefits. Have a go!

Back to our garden roots urban-farming-and-limited-spaces

Seeds of enjoyment


At the Portuguese festival in Petersham, NSW, the local council had a stall, advertising events and giving out packets of seeds. At the time we were living in a house with a sun baked courtyard, scant shade and ducted air conditioning. The house was not well insulated, this combined with floor to ceiling glass, resulted in sweltering temperatures inside during the Summer months. The temptation of switching on the aircon and not venturing outside was too great.

Thankfully, we moved to a house with shaded windows on four sides which provide cross ventilation and a garden that catches the eastern sun at the front and the hot western heat at the back overlooked by a large shaded deck. Since moving into the house just over a year ago we have spent more time outside than in any of our previous homes.

I enjoy cooking with ingredients grown in the garden, however, herbs are the limit of my foray into horticulture for the time being. I was pleasantly surprised when I came across the seeds and realised that they were not all chili peppers, as I first thought. My partner in his usual encouraging way bought me seed raising mix and trays. I set about planting basil; the first time I have grown plants from seed since primary school. I have experienced such good feelings about sewing the seeds, watching their progress, imagining how sweet the basil taste with tomatoes, salt and olive oil and working out how to maximise the number of people who will receive a basil plant gift.