Tales of a Backyard Farmer: Introduction

It’s a strange fact that growing ones own food is about the least profitable use of one’s time, whilst being the most rewarding. Modern folk look at my vegetable-growing activities askance, and the bolder ones offer to show me where the ‘fresh food’ section in the supermarket can be found.


This small book is about a view of the world as seen from a veggie patch. I’d set out to see for myself if it was possible to grow my own food without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, soluble fertilizers and all that other expensive and poisonous stuff used in the modern veggie patch, but which Mother Nature seems to get by without. Will healthy soil produce healthy plants, leading to healthy food and healthy humans?

After a while, I was healthier than I had been for years. No doubt eating nutritious food was good for me, but it wasn’t that. All the bending, lifting, pulling, tugging, twisting and kneeling was also good aerobic exercise, but it wasn’t that. Rather, it’s that the garden allowed me to reconnect with a pre-television childhood that was spent outdoors, where I experienced the passing of the seasons, the colour of the sky and the sight of birds and beasts at first-hand.

I suspect many of us feel isolated from we-know-not-what. A small plot of vegetables, some herbs and fruit trees, a few chooks, a rainwater tank and a handful of basic tools down one’s own backyard is simply a good place to be. Food for the soul as well as for the table…


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