With the upcoming addition to our family, we have turned our thoughts to the house. I have been asked by friends if we will move, so our kid can have a "proper backyard". While it would be great to have a backyard, we are lucky to have an array of public parks in our neighbourhood. Plus our proximity to public transport makes it hard for me to uproot and leave for the sake of having a backyard. I have access to trams, buses and trains, which is perfect as I don’t have a car and we are going to try being a one car family. Yes, this country girl is quite happy to stay in our suburban town house for the next five years. That should be enough time for me to woo the Builder into making a tree change to a country town ;) Regardless if that ever happens, our home without a 'proper' backyard, will do just fine.
Early in 2015 we made plans to try for a baby in 2016, way before a zero waste wedding was ever talked about, and I have been squirreling money away from then. Since we decided that I would take two years out of the workforce to be the primary carer, I thought it best to put some money aside as Australia does not offer the best maternity leave scheme for women or men. I have saved enough, but we still had to look at other areas where we can save money. Food is probably that area we could reduce spending. Truthfully, it's probably the only place, other than bills, where any of our money goes. While we are pretty good at being frugal food shoppers, we still wanted to cut down on what we spent as we switched to a one income family. So we decided to look at our garden and try maximizing each space, turning what we have into a proper food resource.
We grow some of our own food, but never enough to avoid a trip to the farmers market each week. Two years ago, the Builder added planter boxes and made space for me to grow some vegetables. It was enough to play with. At the time I could not ask him to remove the birds of paradise and palms that took up most of our courtyard garden. But over the years they grew too big and eventually, the Builder saw the space could be more useful than ornamental. It was decided that the birds of paradise, palms and other decorative plants would go. Adverts went up on our local Buy, Swap, Sell Facebook group and one by one, the plants were dug up and taken away to new homes. Now the space is empty, ready for vegetables and herbs.
Over the years, it has been trial and error, understanding what grows well and what does not. With the new open spaces, I will have to relearn how it to make it work. I don't believe myself to have a natural green thumb, but I do work hard at it. I think the Builder has more of an inbuilt way with plants that he is not aware of. But I can see it. While the garden we have is small, it is larger than many people have, and we intend to make the most of it. Properly this time.