Living Close to the Ground

So yes, I often splurge my dreams out on this blog about moving to Galiano Island and roasting our own coffee beans, running along the shoreline, slowing right down to a snails pace and pulling homegrown veggies out of the ground – and throwing it straight onto my plate. That whole farm-to-table idea of thinking. Foodscaping. Heard of it?

So recently I invited my friend and ex-colleague Lyle from Grow Forward to come help us get a grip on growing our own food. Hubby bought some pallets, with the idea of making raised planter boxes. We LOVE handy hubby. And! I haven’t been so inspired in a long time (I’m sleep deprived and heavily relied upon to change nappies/find lunch boxes/discard of rotten food/read books/build puzzles/rock baby to sleep/negotiate dinner eating etc. and so you can see where I might’ve lacked inspiration). Lyle is the epitome (the EP-IT-OME) of someone who has found their calling in life. He is passionate, knowledgeable and full-on inspiring. Invite him into your home (garden) and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

We made an early evening appointment at our house (so hubby and my mom – the one who we hope to manage the ‘home-farm’ – were present). Lyle arrived, gloves in hand and not scared to get his hands dirty – literally. He took a look around, and heard our pleas. We spoke about what we envisaged; our hopes, our ideal crop, dining choices and aesthetic preferences and what we want to a) save money by growing ourselves and b) what we won’t completely stuff up trying to grow ourselves. Lyle gave us amazing new ideas, really helpful tips, practical suggestions, and looked around thinking through what we could already use and how to get going, one step at a time. What I loved was that it did not involve us outlaying a small fortune to get going. It was using what we had, and taking it one step further.

I was sooooooooooo, soooooooooo inspired.

Look at what we (when I say we, you all know I’m talking of the hub) have been doing…

Keen? Of course you are!

There are basically two different ways you can do this with Grow Forward.

We went the Home Food Coaching route because, well, we want to try get our kids involved (something Grow Forward wholeheartedly believes in) and we’re keen to get our hands dirty. Sure, let’s be honest, I’m already trying to keep multiple small lives alive around here, and so if I had the money and no room for error, I’d get Lyle to do it all. But how great to have our kids grow up in a home, where we EAT what our garden produces.

Only 2 days after our meeting, I received our consulting notes from Lyle, with everything we had discussed, and lots of tips, suggestions, pictures, research and a plan as to how to g(r)o(w) forward.

This is brilliant. Who doesn’t want to pull organic, homegrown food from their garden? But for most of us, all with great intention, we don’t have the time to research, plan, build and grow ourselves. We just need someone who understands the ecosystem of a healthy garden to pop their head in and give us some instruction. Lyle is that person.

You can contact Lyle on: or follow him on facebook or Instagram.

4 thoughts on “Living Close to the Ground

  1. Please share some insights that you received. Is it worth the investment with all the “good” soil? We have started one but with the soil we have…(we are reeeeeallly trying to save on money!) I’d love to see some more pics of your garden 😉 ….for inspiration of course

  2. Wow! I’ve always wanted to start a veggie garden at home. There is a chance we may be moving back to CT – if that’s the case, I am definitely looking up Lyle!

  3. Oh my hat I just LOVE reading your posts! I stumbled on your blog via via through a cousin and right at this moment I’m busy sitting in a cosy spot in the Drakensburg waiting for my husband as he conquers another mountain on his bicycle. Your posts make me smile and for that I am grateful! I’m also inspired…My very dreary looking raised veggie beds are seeeeriuuuusly sad at the moment so after reading this post I’m gonna get back to crazy life in Joburg and start planning my Spring planting…Winter freezing cold is just a killer so I will plan for Spring! Yay here’s to be inspired!!

    1. Yay! Great to have you here and I’m sooooo envious of your holiday in the Berg. We used to live in Durban so used to go occasionally. Good luck with reviving your planter boxes! 😘

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