Our green garden

Our green garden is just one family's journey to grow organic food. It is a series of blogs printed in the local newspaper, the Witness, over a period of years.

Many years ago when told by a friend with a serious malignancy that her doctor said it is not if but when we get a neoplasm, we decided it was time to start growing our own fruit and vegetables with no poisonous chemicals and use only natural fertilisers.

It has been a life-long journey, fascinated by Hippocrates' dictum of let your food be your medicine; is a life with drugs really possible? Yes, sirree, it certainly is; or at least almost nothing to please big pharma.

The Greens

Our green gardens will of course all be quite different in many respects; they will reflect our own particular issues and needs to improve your well-being, and in fact our personalities. Some will be neat and tidy, others will have crooked rows and a continuing war against a profusion of weeds.

My own issue is a seriously lazy colon. I still have strong recollections of enemas as a child and a life-long struggle with constipation and all its attendant difficulties. Yes, prunes helped, as did beetroot, two of my mainstays, but eventually it was the discovery that greens at least twice, and preferably three times a day, sorted out all my problems. Now visits to the toilet last no more than two or three minutes, and I am regular as clockwork. I cannot overemphasize what a relief it has been; literally life-changing.

A huge very scary rectal bleed was the final push. Now we have eggs Hilton for breakfast, a salad for lunch and always kale or broccoli, or some such, for supper. 

There were other unexpected benefits such as a visit to the optician. After a long examination, he remarked, "you eat a lot of greens, don't you?" I was astonished; how on earth did he know, just by looking in my eyes?

Eat your greens is a plea to those who wish to avoid two of the chief causes of blindness in old age.

Curly leaf kale is good for the eyes.


The chief causes of blindness are macular degeneration and glaucoma; both are very difficult for the individual to detect until it is already too late. It is estimated that 5-10 million Americans are needlessly unable to see, and many more partially sighted, simply because of a deficiency of two phytochemicals. Do you know what they are?

Enjoy your greens for your eyes' sake.

Summer garden kale is rich in phytonutrients and prebiotic fibre for the gazillions of friendly bugs in the colon.

Ask any gardener and they will tell you that greens that have been freshly picked are vastly different to those harvested and sold several days later in the supermarket.

Compost heaps in late winter are most easily worked before the spring rains when the humus is light and dry.

You cannot grow vegetables like these without a plentiful supply of irrigation. The frustration in South Africa is borne out by the oft-heard cry, where is our water? Is it the state's job to supply it, or should we be harvesting the rain and storing it in tanks and underground reservoirs that keep it icy cold?


You will see many salads being advertised as free of lettuce, simply because folk abhor wilted and stale greens. Unfortunately they usually substitute with a refined starch like rice which is very fattening.

Little garden patches is our first blog showing a way to grow lettuce and other greens.

Our green garden

Our green garden is completely dependent on compost heaps and worm farms for fertiliser and rainwater harvesting for irrigation.

  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Our green home
  3. Our green garden


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself, your family and friends, 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.

Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie; or, better still, a Facebook or Twitter tick would help.


56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa