I am becoming more and more aware of Lucas living in such an on demand world. When we were younger we watched what was on TV, there wasn’t the choice of what we wanted, it was what was on at the time. Lucas knows that whatever programme he wants to watch, he can do, he can get it on catch up or from a previously recorded episode. He can even watch one on TV whilst having something else on the iPad.
When we run out of something in the fridge or cupboard, there’s no having to wait because he can just go to the shop. Shops are now open 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week. Even Christmas Day, our local garage will be open. I don’t think Lucas will have any concept how any of the fruit and veg in the shop originally began, as far as he knows, they are always nicely packed up on a shelf for him to pick. I want him to be aware of were his food comes from and understand it to hopefully pick healthier choices in the future.
A fab way of starting this I thought would be to start growing our own food. I don’t have a huge garden but we could grow herbs on the kitchen window sill and there’s no reason why I couldn’t have a fruit tree in the garden. He could then understand how long it takes for the fruit to grow and pick it himself and have truly fresh fruit, not fruit that was picked and packed and transported for miles. We could also have small fruit and vegetable patches, my Auntie successfully grows tomatoes, courgettes, cucumber and strawberries. Alice from Living with a Jude has been growing onions and brussel sprouts with her little ones.
Trees that can grow well even in the UK climate are apple trees, plum trees, pear trees, mulberry trees and even apricot trees which I originally imagined to grow in hot countries. When deciding on what tree, think about space as to which variety you get. If space is an issue, look at the dwarf apple trees that can be planted in pots if necessary.
My Grandparents live on a farm and in their field they have apple and pear trees so I think I would go with a plum tree then Lucas can learn about the three trees separately and see the differences in growth time, maintenance and taste when they are ready.
The Victoria plum is also a good option for us as it a self-fertile plum that produces bumper crops of juicy fruits. I remember going to a house across the road from us when we were smaller and buying plums from them as they had plum trees in their garden. I still refer to it as the plum tree house. Although we want these fruits, as they do produce such a crop, the branches can sometimes snap under the weight so it would be wise to prop the branches up to avoid damaging them. Helena from The Queen of Collage has also written about picking plums with her daughter.
When first planting the tree into the ground, it’s important to not damage the root system. To ensure it doesn’t get damaged the hole should be as deep as the roots and at least three times wider than the root system. Once it is in, give it a good water and monitor the development. Consider fertilising it a season after planting and adjusting any tree ties or stakes. As much as I love wildlife in the garden, you might need to get some tree guards to protect your tree x