ecofeminism urban garden urban gardening

Update on My Urban Garden (June 2022)

It has been quite a while since I updated you on how my lovely garden has been. In short, it is happily thriving. As for me, even a few short minutes a day spent among my plants gives me joy and helps me stay grounded. 

Unfortunately, my limited space doesn’t allow for expansion. Before I make any new additions to my garden, I need to be pretty sure that whatever plant I’m going to introduce, I will be able to eat its fruits. I need to be very mindful of what I want to grow. My ultimate gardening dream is to produce enough veggies to substitute for my weekly shopping, or at least the majority of it. Unfortunately, currently, it’s not feasible. Still, I’m grateful that I can grow herbs, tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins. The feeling that you can produce something that can feed you or your family is priceless. 

Magda’s garden in South East London

The thought of growing any plant just last year was way too overwhelming for me. This year I can’t get enough of YouTube gardening videos. Life can pivot in funny ways. 

I have to admit that I have a bigger agenda behind my desire to grow food. I’m trying to learn (I’ll be sharing this process so stay tuned) how to devise creative ways and solutions to ascertain my family’s food security. That would also allow me to work less in jobs that I only do for money. 

Physically my garden hasn’t expanded much in the past few weeks; I still have two types of tomatoes: Alicante & Roma, and I’m happy to report that both have fruits. 

They aren’t ready to eat yet, but we will have a small harvest once they are. My sweet pepper, as well as chilli pepper trees, have fruits growing as well. Not much was happening with those trees for a long time, but they picked up in June, as the label said they would. So far, I have grown six pumpkins from the pumpkin seeds I collected from our Halloween pumpkin. To my surprise, they grow really fast and reasonably soon; I’ll need to find a bigger place for them to spread their wings. Baby M. and I planted a lot of flower seeds in May; we are still waiting for those to bloom. Between you and I, I think baby M. might have been overwatering them. 

The kids have been eating the few wild strawberries we have had so far. It’s adorable that for baby M. eating strawberries from her garden isn’t anything out of the ordinary but just something that is part of her daily routine. 

The herbs are pretty happy rising to the sun. Without much warning, they have already outgrown my tiny greenhouse. As a result, I have been thinking about a creative solution for my plants for the past few weeks. So far, I haven’t been able to find anything that I could quickly and cheaply implement. However, I’ll surely need to re-think my gardening set-up for the winter season. 

I still try to re-use as many plastic containers as I can. Baby M. & I had planted a lot of flower seeds in those. Another way I use plastic containers is to collect water from underneath the small plant pots. I always planned to find alternative life for plastic before it was disposed of in the recycling cycle when I decided to set up my garden. Hence, I’m happy I could keep up with that practice.

Recently, I have thought about whether I should buy small fruit trees, which I could nurture until they are large and independent enough to be replanted elsewhere. Maybe by the time they are ready, I’ll have my garden with raised beds 🙂 I will surely keep you updated on the tree idea.

Magda’s garden in South East London

Another reason I have been a bit reluctant to extend my garden besides the limited space is the problem with pigeons we have been struggling with forever. These winged rats build nests above our balcony, and it’s nearly impossible to get rid of them; our housing association isn’t that keen on helping. My plants also absorb all the fumes from cars that go in and out of our parking lot. I would instead try to avoid that type of pollution in my garden. So, space and the surroundings around my balcony’s gardening space have become an issue, which is totally out of my control at this point. 

For now, I’m looking forward to the day I can finally try my tomatoes and peppers because so far, the herbs have been so deliciously delicious 🙂

PS. My newest artistic documentary, “Another Way…”  is up on YouTube, which shows how I began my gardening journey.