I have strong memories of sitting there with my grandfather and listening to him explain plants and what you do with them. I had to learn the Greek and English words. There’s something about outdoor or ‘nature’ memories – you only need to think of them for a moment, and they come flooding back.
I think it’s because they involve all the senses, and it’s a social and emotional thing, as well as physical.
Further down, right at the bottom of the yard, were pigeons, ducks and chickens. They were housed in one of those classic coops that was built out of whatever was lying around, and it just worked.
I think the work and maintenance of looking after chooks is more valuable for kids than the eggs. It connects them to the reality of life and the needs of animals, and what that responsibility means. Animals need to be fed. You can’t just say, “I’ll do it later”.
Commitment is easy to bypass these days -there’s an app for this and an app for that. But caring for other creatures, and nurturing plants Main At any one time, Costa has five or six chooks in his care. Left Costa loosens the soil to expose some wriggly treats.
is a commitment, and your reward is learning about produce and harvesting, about fertile soil, and animal maintenance and husbandry. And it also gives you the opportunity to just be in the garden and let time wash over you.
One of my fondest memories about my grandfather’s poultry was just how much the ducks used to poo! They always made a racket, and were great at letting you know if anyone was coming down the back lane. I remember some of the neighbour’s ducks use to roam and go nuts at cars. They were literally willing to take the cars on!
In terms of backyard sustainability and frugal ways, my grandfather was amazing. He used to catch the pigeons, clean them up, feed them, then eat them. He was living the sustainabililty message long before the words hit the streets.