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Home-grown Wellness with Manish

Home-grown Wellness with Manish

30 days ago by Oliver Szklarz

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Eating well is a big part of wellness, and what better way to eat well than from your own homegrown, backyard veggie patch? Following our recent going green in spring article, we found out that we had our very own green thumb at INDEX! We couldn’t wait to sit down with Account Manager, Manish, to learn more about his home horticulture!

Where did you get the idea to start growing your own vegetables?

There was a time in my life when I wasn’t eating healthily and the effects of my dieting choices had started to affect my involvement in other activities. Having lost my motivation to get involved in sports and other social activities, I realised it was time to make a change and the easiest thing for me to change was my diet.

This desire to change my diet took me into the kitchen, where I was able to experiment with recipes and fresh ingredients. This was great! I was able to create something new and exciting for the whole family to enjoy. An unfortunate downside to eating fresh produce from the supermarket (and sometimes even the farmers market) is the cost, which can quickly add up when buying for a family, let alone if you want to enjoy some foods which aren’t ‘in season’.

Have you had any struggles along the way?

I’d have to say that starting out with no experience in gardening was a struggle. It was great to have friends who had their own little herb gardens, or small veggie patches as well. They were able to help out with some tips and tricks to getting things going, as well as gifting us seeds for what is now my favourite chili plant!

Another difficulty we had was figuring out what we wanted to plant and when as well as how much we would need to grow to provide enough food for the family. Now, after two years, we’re definitely on the right track and ready to try growing something else - we’re always looking to try something new! Even though a failed harvest can be upsetting, it’s great fun to get out in the dirt and have fun trying new things with the rest of the family –  it sure beats sitting on the couch ignoring each other!

It all seems like a lot of effort – How do you keep yourself going?

I guess it isn’t necessarily easy, although once we got over the initial hurdle of starting and our first few failures the process sort of fell into place. Don’t get me wrong, we’re far from being horticultural experts and we still encounter plenty of struggles. However, having the whole family involved in the garden definitely keeps us all involved, as we’re able to share the duties and enjoy each other’s company in the afternoons and weekends.

What is your favourite experience on this journey?

My absolute favourite thing is that it helps to bring everyone in the family together. It’s so nice to enjoy each other’s company rather than being stuck in front of the TV or on our phones, It also doesn’t hurt having an abundance of fresh food at your door, ready to go when you’d like. We have a few different chili plants, so whenever we want we can pop our heads out the door and choose from our selection of mild, moderate and hot chilies. This makes it super easy for us to put together a variety of curries, while catering for friends and guests at the same time. But not everyone can handle the heat!

Do you have any recommendations for others looking to start their own veggie-patch?

I’d say the best thing to do is not rush into it, try and take some time to figure out exactly what you want to plant and when it’s practical to do so. It’s also important to remember that these things take time. Take extra care, do some research, ask for help and have a proper set up. These are all important to give yourself the greatest chance at success.

But have fun! Ultimately, it’s about enjoyment and finding a way to keep yourself ‘grounded’. Pardon the pun!

Are you a green thumb? Do you have any tips for the garden that you would like to share? Get in touch with us! We’d love to hear from you. Call me on 03 9963 4804 or email me directly.

Oliver Szklarz

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