Suddenly everyone is gardening.


Last Wednesday night the crowd were all standing around the fire having a few sneaky weeknight beverages while watching a football game that I have no interest in. Just a small bunch of mates chewing the fat, covering topics of international significance, such as what spices were in the rissoles and were ugg boots better than slippers.
Suddenly, the conversation took a more serious tone.
One of my mates, who is most famous for debauchery, unveiled a hidden talent. “Our broccoli is booming,” he suggested, before launching into a detailed explanation of his tomato plant’s prowess since he staked it. His flatmate chimed in to spruik their success with corn. More productive than a caste of worker ants. He was more excited about that corn than he was about the football, but that’s not surprising because he’s a Queenslander and it has not been a fruitful year.
I took his excited tone as my cue to wax lyrical about my oversized zucchini plant and the snow peas that are sweeter than a honey pot.
Without warning our host came from behind to lament the difficulty he was having with his eggplants. No worries at all with any of the herbs. The basil, in particular, was growing faster than the Channel Country pasture after the rains. But the eggplants were a serious bone of contention. He just wanted a few to fill a few layers of lasagna with the fleshy vegie, but he was having no luck at all with the purple fruit. Without any tact, I began describing the ease I was having with my eggplant bush, fruit was busting from the vine as it thrived on neglect.
So there we all were, standing around the fire comparing stories about our vegie patches.
“Remember when we just used to get drunk,” I asked. “Now we’re just talking about our vegie gardens.”
We all chuckled and sheepishly looked at the fire. Were we finally growing up? Were we boring?
Na, no way. There is something incredibly soul enriching to grow your own vegies. Something peaceful, natural about growing something that nourishes you. And it’s bloody convenient to have a few supplies to fall back on when you miss the supermarket’s small-town opening hours.
It was almost a comforting thought, but rather weird to think a sense of maturity may be developing in the crowd. But then I remembered, I’ve been gardening since I first left home, and there was little maturity at that stage of my life. Why should a love of gardening, growing things to eat and look pretty, why should that be a pleasure limited to older people, as stereotypes often suggest?
I reckon we should get amongst it. Let’s have a few drinks, embrace the debauchery and talk about vegies.

3 thoughts on “Suddenly everyone is gardening.

  1. Incredible Pen. Must be something in the country air. Or perhaps it’s the availability of wide open space and lack of shade and the paucity of local fresh veges. All the ingredients for healthy living among the bebauchery.

    Reminds me of the sheepish discussion David had many years ago with his colleagues about having to put up Christmas lights, only to discover they were all doing it, and berated him for being late getting them done.

  2. I think there is something very back to nature about gardening and your own veges, as well as the convenience. However I don’t think the inveterate gardeners from out Nimbin way would say that it is boring….

  3. Baahaha classic rant sis! Very easy reading for Mr Natural:) I spent hours turnng the soil & planting my winter crops last weekend and they have already started to thrive! thats rite im all grown up too…..I must say that harvesting a bumper crop of huge eggplants and hot chillies a month ago gave me more satisfaction than emptying my pockets on watered down red bull and vodka, two days of tinnitus and a sore neck!!!! Mmmmmmh well I never. 😉 happy herbs Pen Pen….

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