Growing up in Singapore, I was never really aware of where my food travelled from. I knew that we import most of our food from around the region like vegetables and fruit from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and from countries as far as the United States (navel oranges from California?). All that matter to me back then was how good the food tasted, how satisfied my tummy will feel and whether it was value for money. Yes, very Singaporean of me! :)
Since learning about GMO food, my husband and I have been aware about sustainable farming and the importance of eating local, seasonal and organic. We started by purchasing vegetables and fruits from our region in Switzerland, it is quite easy as our local supermarket seasonally promotes regional foods. We also found out that we could get fresh yogurt from a dairy farm close to our house. At the same time, we experimented with a weekly organic fruits and vegetables delivery service for a period of time.
Now that we have decided to spend some time in Spain, we knew we would like to get our hands dirty and learn how to grow vegetables. An opportunity came unexpected through a good friend who knew a local guy that could help us get started. So at the end of April, we started work on our vegetable patch which took us a total of four days to complete.
We begin by raking and clearing the land for stones:
Next we marked the vegetable patch area and laid out the combined organic compose and sand with our hands evenly:
After laying out the compose, we had to set up a basic watering system
Planting local organic seedlings (it was too late for us to germinate seeds this year)
Last step: Covering the sides of the vegetable patch with recycled cardboard and hay (given by our friendly neighbours) to keep out weeds and to maintain a healthy ecosystem:
Our first harvest, salad leaves! :) Tomatoes are still on their way...