Todays Meaningful Gardener is someone I have followed on Instagram and her blog for some time now, completely marvelling at how different our two growing conditions are... meet Nicki Mckay, from the beautifully named blog, Love of Dirt.
Nicki gardens in a compact and super productive city farm in her back yard. I love how much abundance can come from a small space - and Nicki shows what can be done with a little bit of imagination and a willingness to just give it a try. She even has a little aquaponics system in her city space, proving lots of delicious produce. As a 'digital creative', Nicki's garden is a place of respite and refuge for her, a connection to the physical world (I LOVE the line about "the simplicity of just living") - read on below & thank you so much for inspiring us Nicki!
My tiny garden represents so much more than the space it occupies.
Simply put: my garden is my happy place, my source of health, consciousness and inspiration.
My garden is my happy place. It’s the place that I go to when I am stressed, insecure, exhausted, sad or seeking answers. It pulls me up from the darkness and makes me appreciate the little things, the smells, the sights, the tiny creatures, the fresh air – the simplicity of just living.
My garden is there for my health. It’s activity away from my computer, away from electronic, away from the constant buzz that is life. It helps me be active and it provides me with nutritious food. There is nothing quite like the crunch of a freshly picked snow pea that you grew yourself, the super sweet cherry tomato that explodes in your mouth or the incredibly fragrant herbs that you can’t buy from the shops.
My garden is there to show me to be mindful. It shows me not to be so wasteful, to appreciate the effort that goes into every thing that is put into my mouth. I am more conscious of where my food comes from, of the farmers who grow it and how it ultimately ends up on my table. The appreciation of the effort it took to grow the food you eat changes everything: it just tastes different, it smells different, it just feels different.
My garden is there to inspire my friends and family, show them that real food shouldn’t come out of a packet. It’s there to build community and relearn the lost art of sharing. It’s there to show people that it doesn’t need to be a chore. That it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive to eat real food. It’s there to inspire people to take action in their own backyards and not rely 100% on a fundamentally flawed food system that values profit over health. It’s there to inspire the self proclaimed black thumbs of the world, with ‘not enough space’, who rent, who don’t have time, who have excuses - that it is easy to grow herbs on your patio or tomatoes from a pot.
My garden is my teacher, it is not extensive, it is not permanent, but it is always, and always will be an extension of me.