Little garden patches

Little garden patches describes what you can do with just two or three square-metres.

Sometimes this column perhaps gives the impression you must have a huge garden to be a greenie. Not so, this three square-metre patch produces an incredible amount of food for our family. Add to that a few pots with parsley, sweet basil and thyme and you’ll have a kitchen blessed with fresh salads.

A few staked-peppadews and jalapeños in the front garden where the vibrant colours will draw comment obviously would help.

Little patches in the veggie garden can be very productive.

True you can’t grow potatoes and a field of mealies and butternut, but they are easier to get from the green-grocer, and are less subject to the deteriorating influence of oxygen once reaped than your greens.

In one small patch you can supply the lunch-table every day with fresh lettuce, a few slips of spring onions and some rocket for a bit of variation; add to that young spinach leaves and a few twigs of celery or radish perhaps.

It’s not that difficult to get your mandatory seven to ten coloured foods every day; a proven 35% lower all-cause of death[2] is not unattractive, right? That means fewer consultations with your doctor and pharmacist; and less pain.

You’ll often see recipes these days boasting that there is no lettuce; it is true that greens picked days previously are usually limp and very boring. Straight from the garden to the lunch table, with freshly-squeezed lemon juice and olive oil you have food fit for a king; feta cheese or half an egg and a scoop of homemade hummus[1] provide the protein.

A slice of low GI bread and natural honey would keep the queen in her parlour enchanted too.

Growing radish, planted a little shallowly.

Fresh greens are loaded with minerals and phytonutrients. For example, the WHO declares that half a million children go blind every year because of a vitamin-A deficiency; their families don’t have little garden patches obviously.

Add to that the vitamin K and folate that are so important for achieving high-grades in school, not to mention the phytochemicals like lutein for the eyes; now you can imagine the importance of greens for your growing family and granny too. Adult-onset macular degeneration is so needless.

There is one other not unimportant advantage in little patches. One can of bathwater every day would keep your little garden happy even in a drought; actually two-halves so that you don’t find yourself suffering from "bucket back."

Two or three small patches like this, being continuously planted every few weeks would supply most of the needs of a growing family for vegetables. Add some carrots and a fence for climbing beans and you can at least halve your fresh-produce bill; and probably halve your medical account too.

The downside is that you will have to find the money to put the kids through a tertiary-education. That is not just a wild opinion; it’s all scientifically proven. It's all about the folate[4] in your greens.

Little garden patches

Little garden patches will provide wonderful fresh parsley, spring onions, and even one or two broad-beans; I am unashamed a lettuce fan so there will be a few plants here and there too.

Find a spot for one or two spinach plants; they are a wonderful source of iron, the most common serious mineral-deficiency in the Western world. Anemia is not fun.

Your little garden patches will only be as nutritious as the quality of your soil; get a few tips from easy composting.

A divine green salad.

It may seem a little brash to say it, but a lunch like this is standard at our green home. Often there would be some feta-cheese or corn on the cob, and always a slice of our sourdough artisanal bread[3] and butter.

Homemade hummus is really so simple and quick.

100 percent real bread and butter.

Those enjoying salads from your little garden patches like these need have no fear of butter; it's the refined carbs that bring most of our troubles.

100% wholemeal bread like this contains an essential nutrient known as a lignan. Since millers started refining out the bran breast tumours and cardiovascular diseases have soared.

What are lignans is a subject we should have some inkling of.

Our motto is to embrace whole, unrefined foods; and grow as much of your fruit and veggies as you possibly can.

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Plump red peppadews.


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself, the family and Mother Earth for future generations. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa