I’m Sarah and I run a community allotment called The Hop Garden in High Spen, Gateshead part-
time as well as working as a media relations manager for Newcastle University.
Much as I love my paid work (most of the time, at least) in an ideal world, I’d spend all my time in the garden but I’ve not yet worked out how to make a living wage out of that. I am working on it though…
Having my daughter three years ago meant I had to change the way I garden. I’d always taken delight in the magic of tiny new shoots emerging from seeds I’ve sown and, of course, eating the fruits of my hard labour, but all too often I’d be rushing around trying to finish everything before the sun went down or the rains came.
Now I have to go at a different pace and take time out to talk to the fairies (you’ll be amazed how many hang out in the average garden just ask a small person 😉 and dig for buried treasure.
I’ve also had to develop a few diversion tactics to ensure I do still get a bit of weeding done, but I’m thoroughly enjoying looking at the garden through new eyes.
Gardening has always been a refuge for me during difficult times and I have a lot to thank this particular garden and my chickens for over the last few years. It has literally kept me grounded in more ways than one. And with a young baby that I often felt completely overwhelmed by, being able to get out and just potter helped to maintain what little sanity I was desperately holding onto. My daughter has been gardening long before she could walk, accompanying me in her sling to do a spot of digging or simply just sitting on the shed step watching the rain or listening to the birdsong.
While not everyone reading this will have access to an allotment or even a garden, I hope that over the coming months you will be encouraged to grow a little bit of food with your family even if you only have a windowsill and get outside to explore a bit more of the natural world for free (or just a few pennies).
I’ve just started a new blog Little Green Shoots which will offer ideas for gardening with children, including what to plant now – so if you get the chance, pop over and find out how you can easily grow peas for summer.
I look forward to going on a gardening adventure with you all and being a Birth & Baby Network blogger!