Garden Chronicles: Beginnings

“Urban farming is as ancient as human civilization itself.”

We’ve grown plants at home before.  Big heaping pots of herbs in our backyard in New England that we regularly used in our cooking, a small indoor chili pepper garden in our apartment in central Sweden where I also delighted in growing pea shoots for the first time. I would delight in harvesting a batch of nutritious shoots each morning to sprinkle on my knäckebröd on top of a bit of vegan buttery spread and then sprinkled with a dash of herb salt. 

Due to regularly moving and having to uproot, I’ve never approached gardening full steam.  However, with the foundation laid for my first edited volume book project on ‘Community and Urban Agriculture‘, I decided it was time to get my hands dirty (literally) with urban gardening- beginning right in our home. 

In early March we got set up with small fibre pots, seeds and soil to set up what I refer to as our experimental, educational and culinary home garden. 

It’s experimental in the sense that we will be learning extensively as well as adjusting along the way. I am already delighted to learn, in these very early weeks, what fast growers corn (above) and peas are.  It’s educational as well for the aforementioned reasons and also an opportunity to engage my kids directly in learning about food and the reality that food does not originate in bags at the grocery store. I want them to understand there is work required for what we have on our plates and also to develop food literacy in terms of understanding nutrition.

Confession: I am completely nuts about plant-based eating and all sorts of vegetables but my kids, mmmm, not so much.  With gardening I hope to spark and share even just a fraction of the passion I have for vegetables with them, also knowing that it can take years to develop.  I recall as a child sitting very glumly at the dinner table and staring at some Brussel sprouts which I had been firmly ‘requested’ (to put it nicely) to eat by my parents but which I would have been very happy to not have seen on my plate on the first place.  These days?  I love Brussel sprouts. Things change. 

And the garden is definitely culinary in the sense that much of it is edible plants.  It has long been a vision, hope and plan of mine that I could establish a garden that with time could provide the bulk of our household’s vegetable and herb needs. I might not achieve that with this specific home garden, but it’s a start, and will also provide us with practical knowledge that we can take with us to other home gardens we start as well as hopefully community gardening projects as well.

I decided to also document the activity here at this site as a way to revive this space.  I established Annika Lundkvist Photography & Writing website around 2011, when I began to work as a freelance photographer in Bavaria. I thrived in that role and loved serving client with diverse photographic need across the region we were living in at the time in Germany. I used this site to document various activities and output from jobs. 

Time went by, many moves, two kids, other projects and jobs and slowly this sit became very quiet.  I’m excited to connect both my photography and writing to our now-garden space and related activities and share about the process here. 

In our current urban home garden we have planted:

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) – BIO

Birdseye Pepper (Capsicum frutescens)

Ghost Pepper (Capsicum chinense x frutescens)

Sweet Chili Pepper (Capsicum annuum)

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) – BIO

Corn (Zea mays)

Cucumber- Marketmore (Cucumis sativus) – BIO

Lettuce – May King (Lactuca sativa) – BIO

Onion- White Lisbon Scallion (Allium cepa) – BIO

Peas- Kelvedon Wonder (Pisum sativum) – BIO

Pomidor Cherry Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

Multiple flowers for the bees & hopefully butterflies….

Involving my children in the process- from helping to plant the seeds, water the plants and also observe and document the growth.

More to come at Garden Chronicles as we document the development of our current urban home garden.