Growing your own veges and fruit is the new black — more and more people are turning back to growing their own food in this time of rising food and petrol costs and diminishing house values.
Get Growing is designed to give people of all ages some basics, along with projects and activities to spark young imaginations and cultivate green thumbs. The finer details of growing food can come later, once their appetite for gardening has been whetted.
Children don’t need to know everything there is to know about edible gardening to get started. Nor do their grownups.
This is about recapturing the flavours and foods of our pasts for our children. It reintroduces the idea that food comes from nature – not the supermarket – and the acts of growing, preparing and sharing it can be immensely satisfying.
Get Growing is packed with information and ideas for making edible gardening a fun activity that all members of the family can enjoy.
Helen Cook spent her childhood on a dairy farm near Rotorua. She cannot remember her parents ever buying vegetables: the vegetable garden was vast and productive. On summer evenings, the whole family gathered around the kitchen table to shell peas or top and tail beans for the deep-freeze or to peel cases of peaches bought for bottling.
Helen’s love of growing and eating its results stayed with her throughout the years she spent as a journalist, farmer, public relations consultant and now, as the communications manager on a large Auckland infrastructure project. She maintains a salad garden at the Freemans Bay townhouse she shares with her partner and a large and productive garden at Matakana where they spend most of their weekends.
Her horror, on arriving in Auckland, at having to buy even a sprig of parsley brought with it the realisation that the supermarket is where the story of food begins for increasing numbers of New Zealanders. The chance to eat peas straight from the pod, pull a carrot or pick a tomato warmed by the sun – let alone to experience the taste differences of homegrown food – was now rare, particularly for city children.
Get Growing is about reconnecting New Zealanders of all ages with the sheer pleasure of harvesting, eating and sharing food they have produced themselves.