© 2009 Lynsey

099 – Vegetable rights

While waiting for Marica at lunchtime today I noticed either some enterprising soul has planted these cabbage/cauliflower/some other brassica sp. or they’ve some how germinated there under their own recognisance. I had to smile – I remember years ago about a block away a building was demolished. The replacement took some time to arrive, and the empty land developed a vege garden, a sofa and some chairs, and a tv set. Very domesticated. It’s a bit unfortunate that the site now sports an ugly building.

I wondered about whether the City Council might consider planting vegetables instead of annuals, with the harvest being available for the soup kitchen, students, and people on low incomes. It wouldn’t be any real deviation in policy, previously the Council gardeners have planted multi-coloured swiss chard in the traffic islands down Lambton Quay, and ornamental kale – it’s hardly a leap to planting cabbage or other vegetables more familiar on the table.

Back in the days of Dig for Victory significant chunks of public land were converted to vegetable production – I think it is sad we don’t continue with the process. I don’t believe it would add a great deal to the portion of rates allocated to parks and gardens, if anything at all.

We were raised with what now seems like a huge amount of vegetables in our diet – my Dad had a large and very beautiful vegetable garden, and a meal with 10-12 different vegetables was commonplace. More recently my Mum (aged 92), ever resourceful, lead a successful campaign to have more vegetables, better cooked, on the menu in her rest home. She believes very strongly in the restorative powers and energy concentrations in vegetables, and is prepared to fight for the right to have better, fresher food for her and her fellow residents.

11. Every day do something for someone else.
29. Every day eat, drink, rest, work, exercise, play, love, create for your own good. And the good of others.
37. Every day fight for what’s worth fighting for. Pick your battles.


  1. Cantina
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 9:20 am | #

    I had only ever seen Switzerland under a blanket of snow until this last July when I enjoyed a two week sojourn in Montreux on Lake Geneva.
    I was amazed and enthralled by the beauty and originality of the gardens running along the edge of the lake. Interspersed between wild flowers and bright red geraniums was the most amazing collection of herbs, curly kale, spinach with stunning red, shocking pink, yellow and purple stems as well as a variety of lettuces, red cabbage and beautifully crafted pyramids of colourful beans. These carefully tended beds ran for kilometers on the cycle and skateboarding paths.
    Who used or ate these vegetables? I have absolutely no idea, but they certainly provided food for thought!

  2. Lynsey
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 11:14 am | #

    My mum frequently grew parsley, beetroot, and the rainbow beet in amongst. I can recall when she first planted up the beds, and then at the annual best garden contest there was quite a ripple of amusement/horror at the outrageous combinations. Ah, the good old days where simply combining plants was a radical and subversive act.

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