Anyone with a front yard or a backyard, or at least a place to put container plants in the sun, can do edible gardening. I’ve proven it. Even if it’s a small area, the reward you get from eating what you grow yourself, or from simply looking at new leaves, tiny buds, or luscious fruits appearing, is wonderful.
About 10 weeks ago, Odino, my little brother Aza, and I teamed up and began turning my parents’ backyard into a productive garden. It took us a little more than a week to treat the soil, make planting beds, and create a simple grey water system. Two weeks after that, we began planting.
There used to be only bilimbi, mango, soursop, sapodilla, syzygium, and lime trees and several herbal shrubs growing around Dad’s chicken, goose, duck, and rabbit pens, as well as two fish ponds. Today, we’ve got vegetables too, and new fruit trees, and herbs, and a grey water channel. And that makes everyone in the Sembiring family happy, especially Mom. All she really wanted was to grow bird-eye peppers, because the family consumes a lot of chilies. Now she has them and more. Aza is probably the most excited of all seeing the garden flourish. He checks the beds every morning before going to school, and has started doing his own experiments in the seedling area. Dad encourages me to do aquaponics, simply because he wants to be able to look at his fish and not just murky, green pond water. My sister Via wants lettuce for her salad diet. The plan to introduce my family to an organic, sustainable lifestyle is finally taking off.
Future plans include making more planting beds, plant tamarillos and lettuce, develop aquaponics (now experimenting with one box planted with strawberries), create a more space-efficient seedling area, complete the garden paths (rainy season is not a good time to do this), find a way to store rainwater (a long-term plan, it seems), and convince Mom to let her flower garden in the front yard become another permafengshui project.
For now, have a look these photos Odino and I took, and read the captions where I share some information. I hope they’re inspiring enough for you to turn that empty plot around your house into an edible garden.