Meghan Shine, Seed Guardian, Hackney
I am lucky enough to have a lovely, decent size garden with a big veg patch and lots of sunshine. I have very little experience gardening. I moved house so now I have this garden. This year was the first year that I really tried to go all out.
Why I grow my own food
I have a 6 year old and I want him to understand and learn about where our food comes from and how it gets to our table, and the whole process from the very beginning to the end. Also for myself as well since I’ve lived in cities my whole life, and sometimes I forget. And also because I have the space, so I feel like I have a responsibility to make the most of it. And actually it’s kind of a hobby now. And it’s good to spend time outside, to have an excuse even on a cold day.
Why I save seed
Just the fact that we can save our own seeds and grow our food for the next year from those seeds. That’s so so basic that it’s absolutely incredible, and very easy to take for granted. I guess just one seed becomes this kind of sacred potential in so many different ways. So I’ve been inspired and now I’m collecting as many seeds as I can.
Connection between growing and my heritage
My Dad always says that my Granddad was the first Irish man to grow peaches in Ireland. And then my Granny would always have loads of rhubarb in her garden and she’d have tomatoes in her greenhouse. When my Gran passed away I spent a week going through everything in our house and sorting everything out. It was in the summertime, in August, so we spent a lot of time in the garden. There was this big rhubarb. My Mum wasn’t there (this was my Mum’s mother) and I remember bringing the rhubarb back to London, and baking rhubarb crumble for my Mum, and all of us, for dinner one night and it felt like we were eating there with my Gran. Because this was one of her favourite vegetables.
Hear from Meghan
How I feel when I’m working in the garden.
One thing that has become very apparent is just how relaxing it is. Sometimes if you feel a bit of stress and if you practice a bit of meditation and yoga, yeah that will be helpful. But sometimes it feels like a lot of effort to try and just clear your mind or still your mind or just observe the chaos of your mind. Whereas with gardening it’s completely effortless. You just start gardening and all of a sudden you enter a whole new way of being, a different realm, and it’s almost as if stresses and your daily life gets put to the side and you get to be very present and you get to exist in a different way that is very enjoyable. I feel very alive. I feel connected to family and people, and myself, and my son in a different way when I’m in this garden space, and this different mindset.