Grow Your Own Veg with Beta Mummy

Grow your own! They said. It’ll encourage your kids to eat vegetables! They said. Well I grew my own – or at least attempted to – but did it bollocks make my fussy Feral Child #1 eat his veg.

In a misguided Alpha Mummy Moment once, I decided to involve the children in growing some fruit and vegetables in our garden.  I think it was after reading a bit in some self-righteous family recipe book which claimed to solve all my fussy-eater problems.  I had visions of us spending long summer days fondly tending our garden, which would reward our efforts with wondrous and plentiful bounty.  The children would trip gaily down the (neatly edged) path, stopping here to pull up and eat a fresh organic carrot, and pausing there to gaze at a beautiful butterfly.  They would help me weed the beds (not that there would be many weeds), and be eager to learn everything I could teach them (for I would magically become a Yoda of horticulture) so that they could grow a delicious rainbow of fruit and vegetables, all by themselves.

What’s more, I would save a fortune on my shopping bill!

Alpha Mummy and her children in the Alpha allotment. Everything is neat and tidy and growing well, and the children are happy to have so many lovely vegetables.

What actually happened was that I hacked, sweated and swore at a patch of my garden over several weekends, until it looked like it might accommodate some plants.  I then spent about seventy quid at the local garden centre, on compost, seeds, plants, bulbs, seed potatoes, and god knows whatever else.  I started reading a book about growing stuff, but gave up when they started talking about crop rotation and companion planting, and just chucked everything into the dirt.

A few months later my friends, family and colleagues were begging me to please, please stop forcing carrier bags-full of broad beans on them…and everything else died.  Turns out I have a mega slug problem in my garden (slugs that don’t like broad beans).  And it also turns out that most things need watering (but not drowning, thanks FC#2).  The kids kept digging up the potatoes before they grew, because apparently they like digging in their “mud pit”.  They didn’t help in the slightest with the weeding (there were many weeds), and they did not appreciate my broad beans.

Beta Mummy and the Feral Children in their garden. There are lots of weeds and slugs, and that's about all that will grow.

The only thing that actually seems to want to grow in my garden (other than weeds) is rhubarb.  Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.  It is actually like a weed, growing like wildfire despite me literally doing nothing to it.  And it’s one of the vegetables (did you know it’s a vegetable, not a fruit?) that the books say is supposedly tricky to grow – go figure.  It’s typical, though, isn’t it?  The one thing I have success with, and it’s the one vegetable that you have to add a shitload of sugar to to make it edible!  I’m not sure Jamie Oliver would be impressed.

I’m writing this watching Gardeners’ World.  I have no idea what Monty is talking about, but there’s something rather lovely about GW, I find it ever so relaxing.  I guess I haven’t yet given up on my Alpha Mummy dream of living “The Good Life”.


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  • Hannah 15/07/2017 at 11:33 pm

    This is absolutely hilarious, because the struggle is REAL!! I spent ages putting out seedlings then the blummin slugs are them before they were 4 inches tall. Nice to know it’s not just me who goes through these things!!!

    • Beta Mummy 16/07/2017 at 6:29 am

      It’s so frustrating isn’t it?! My friend tells me I need to get chickens, as they eat all the slugs, but that seems a bit drastic! Glad you liked it 🙂 x


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