I grew up in small town New Zealand and when I say small I mean really small. My mum taught at the local primary school and my dad had a fruit and veg shop. We lived in what kids in my class called a castle, I never thought it was that big growing up but now as an adult I can see where they got the idea from. It had a huge section with flower beds, huge trees, a vegetable garden, an aviary (which doubled as a guinea pig hutch), a BBQ area with a big brick, wood burning BBQ, swings, a play hut and plenty of room to run around pitch a tent or anything else you felt like doing as a kid. My mum and dad had developed the section from a bare block of land with a three bedroom house on it to an adventure play ground with a 4 bedroom, two bathroom, plus study house with three garages.
When I was 17 I moved to Wellington, I thought it was fantastic, the big buildings the busy atmosphere and there was always something on and something to do. But something was missing. I will admit that I will always miss Wellington and for a city it definitely has charm. But what was missing was the garden, the fresh air, the fresh food.
Roll on to now and I am 28 living in a two bedroom rail cottage in Palmerston North with my partner, our 1 year old son and every second weekend my partners seven year old daughter. It’s a little crowded but it works for us. We don’t own the place, we rent it off an amazing couple who at Christmas each year leave grocery vouchers in our letter box. We have been here two years and love the place, most of the time. I had wanted to become more self-sufficient for a long time, I’ve picked up all sorts of gardening, self-sufficiency, DIY and craft books over the years (usually from second hand shops, they always have the best ones) but had never quite got around to putting the effort into doing it.
January 2016 we flew down to Lake Brunner for my sister’s wedding and flying back over the Southern Alps it hit me, I had to do this. I had to start growing things, I had to start providing for my family in a way that wasn’t monetary and give our family and children the wonderful childhood I had. There will never ever be brought vegetables that taste quite like home grown ones. I started posting what I was doing and researching on my facebook page and on gardening pages and kept getting questions so I thought, why not write about it, why not share my experience with others in the same position who don’t have much land but want to be able to provide a lifestyle for their families that is a little more traditional and a little more natural.
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Remember if you are dreading getting out of bed each morning, your life is what you dread. Change starts with you.