We are lucky to have a garden in this city. And, as far as I am concerned, the luckiest bit was the unused, weed-riddled back area that was forgotten and unused. The size, the shape, the fact that it actually gets a substantial slice of sunshine (when the sun shines) — this neglected bit of dirt had Vegetable Patch written all over it. But, candidly, my desire to eat fresh food and introduce my kids to the source of their meals does not always match up to the time or energy I have available. The hero of this little love story is Rocket Gardens.
Rocket Gardens starts the seeds and nurtures them into strong little plants, at which point they send the sprouts, via overnight post, when they are ready to be planted in the ground. Even better, they create a combination of plants that make sense and grow well together. So, if you are like me, you can just select the right size and season and they will send an amazing collection of healthy little plants to pop in the ground just when the time is right.
The delayed summer in the UK this year of course delayed our plants by a few weeks. Though we weren’t planting over the term break like I thought we would, I appreciated that Rocket Gardens waited until the plants were actually sturdy enough for transplant before sending them. They can’t control the British summer, afterall, but they can be my expert guidance on when it is ok to move forward.
Once we got the email that our plants were ready, we spent a weekend cleaning out the patch and improving the soil. Our plants came, they were all packed in hay in a cardboard box. It only took a couple of hours to get everything snugly planted and the kids had a blast.
We are currently watering when it doesn’t rain and checking daily to see how things are growing and placing bets on what we will eat first. All of our greens are looking strong. The cauliflower leaves are pretty. And we have some cute little green strawberries. I expect we’ll have more courgette and aubergine than we know what to do with. Expect recipes in August. In the meantime, go plant something. It is good for the soul.
PS — Apologies that in my excitement to open my box of hay and seedlings I forgot to take a picture… But if you want more detail, you can check out this video of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his box from Rocket Gardens.