Do you like to hear how others are growing their own fruit and veg, what motivates them and what tips and tales they share?
It’s one of the reasons I’m such a fan of community gardening; I’m always interested and the following chat with Mona Wise is no exception as she reveals among other things how her family choose what to grow each year, their favourite vegetables and her recommendations for books.
For any of you who aren’t familiar with Mona, it seems appropriate that I should introduce you to her on this my 300th blog post. I first met Mona at a KLCK Bloggers network meeting and she’s an inspiration to bloggers and aspiring writers in many ways. She came away from the Blog Awards Ireland in 2012 with three awards (Best Blog by a Journalist, Best Food/Drink Blog, Best Photography Blog) as well as the overall Best Blog Award. She’s a columnist for the The Sunday Times, has just finished a four-year creative writing degree where she self published a memoir cookery book entitled The Chef & I. A nourishing narrative, which shares her story about meeting and marrying Ron (The Chef) and she’s mum to four children.
Mona, having read and indeed cooked several of the recipes from your book and newspaper column, it’s obvious that you’re passionate about cooking and eating good quality, locally sourced, seasonal food. When did you start growing your own and where do you grow it?
I have a confession to make Dee. It’s my husband Ron who has the green thumb in our house. I am an excellent ‘weeder’ and ‘grass cutter’ but he can make anything grow. We live on 3/4 acre less than 5 miles from Galway city and a half mile from my Mum, where I grew up as a child. We have been growing our own food (a lot of it) for 20 + years and it has always been chemical free.
As a chef, Ron has always been very careful about what he grows for the table and believes in making his own organic fertilisers like rain water-soaked with nettles, and plenty of manure from the chicken coops and neighbours horses and a twice annual dose of rotted seaweed from the beach.