Wrapped in plastic

It has been two weeks since I left my garden for a gorgeous spot on the coast and it has taken that long to start to feel comfortable with caravan living.  We have slipped into a school term routine, so it no longer feels like we are camping and it seems all the more real that we are doing a peculiar thing that will be worth it in the long run.   The perception of camping was great to start with as the weather was absolutely amazing, endless blue skies and hot days that were softened by a gentle sea breeze.  Swimming in the ocean was a great way to freshen up and the living was relaxed and easy, even more so once we got electricity.  It was nice to take some time to do nothing much at all after months of busyness getting the house ready for sale and then packing up all our worldly possessions.

Every sunset is different. I shall never grow tired of watching them.

We even survived a terrible storm with torrential rain and strong winds, although we have had to make adjustments to the way we live.  The earlier sunny days had lulled us into a false sense of security and we had sprawled a little.  But it isn’t for much longer, about 35 days give or take and we should be house dwellers like normal people.  But it was a good wake up call as in these coming days it will rain again.

Easy living
We don’t have many luxuries right now, but we do have our spa pool.

One adjustment has been especially difficult for me, and that is with the cooking.  We have limited space to store things and so all of my pickles, sauces and other things I’d made to enhance my cooking are packed away.  The deep freezer is plugged in, in a location far from here so what harvest I was able to make this season is safe and will bring us some sunshine this winter.  And worst of all, I don’t have a garden as such.  There is no fresh produce for me.

Free range chickens
The chickens are enjoying the free range lifestyle.

So we have been buying things – little and often because of the lack of space.  I don’t think I’ve ever been to the supermarket so frequently ever.  Normally it is just once every couple of weeks for the basics I can’t make or grow and if we run out, then we wait.  Going in every other day leads to spending more than intended as things tend to catch your eye and it jumps into the trolley almost as if by magic.   I’m not entirely happy with what we are buying either, but it is just for a short time.   Having worked in the convenience food industry in a previous life I’m keen to avoid it now and love my whole food lifestyle, carefully making it from scratch.  However, in a caravan this isn’t easy so convenience food it is.

It is surprising how much stuff can be plonked in my new garden. I guess I shall have to wait patiently.

Not only is it a shock as to how little self control I seem to have in the supermarket, but also the price of things – especially veggies.  I can’t remember the last time I bought a tomato or a cucumber as I work with the principle – if it isn’t in season, we’re not having it.  It makes us appreciate the rhythm of nature and things anticipated taste so much better.  Except stuff from the supermarket.  The full and rich flavours experienced with home grown produce is missing from these items.   And as they come unnecessarily wrapped in plastic or have plastic stickers plastered all over them, then I am also concerned at the increased amount of waste this convenience lifestyle is generating.

The limes are enjoying their sheltered spot behind the container where my greenhouse should be!

I need to make a temporary garden as soon as I can so we can slip back into a way of life we are more accustomed to.  The big garden is coming along nicely in the planning stage and while I had hoped to get started on it straight away I hadn’t anticipated the place for the house and surrounding area needed to be clear for the tradespeople to do their thing.  Meaning the other lovely flat area that is to be my garden is cram packed with stuff – the caravan is where I would like to have my greenhouse, the container is stretched out across several potential beds, the trailer is where my office shed is to go and other items are blocking the possibility of most horticultural endeavour.

The start of my temporary garden, may it flourish for me in this place.

It is just for a short time, and so in the meantime I am researching gardening in these conditions, designing and planning the garden and beyond and gathering together all the materials I’ll need.  So once the house arrives and everything else goes I can get started straight away on my forever. garden.

Come again soon – I don’t feel like me if I’m not growing something

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

21 thoughts on “Wrapped in plastic

  1. You sound very positive,Sarah, despite everything. You have a beautiful spot, and it will all be worth it, I’m sure. I’m interested in seeing your house arrive. It’s a very NZ ‘thing’ to have a whole house transported from one place to another. The sunsets at your back door are stunning.

    1. Hi Jane. It does seem to be a kiwi thing to move houses about the place. It is certainly quicker than building one from scratch. It is the ultimate form of recycling. The more we wait the more impatient I’m getting. I’m really looking forward to having a good roof over our heads again. Not that there is anything wrong with the caravan, it’s just a little small….. : o)

  2. Look at it this way: having to go back to a convenience subsistence, even in the short-term will really drive home the value of your home grown lifestyle when you get your garden up and running again.

    I try not to go to the Supermarket more than once a fortnight for meat/store-cupboard items or once a week for fresh produce because, as you say, you invariably come out with additional items which you had absolutely no intention of getting. AND I try to avoid taking Mud with me at all costs because he is drawn to the more expensive options and objects to my searching the shelves for the offers/longest dates etc 😀

    I love your view over the sea. Hope the boys have settled in well and are happy in their new school (I’m assuming they had to move schools) x

    1. Hi Elaine. I am so glad the kids are now back at school for the new year and Hubby the Un-Gardener is fully back at work – so they have no influence over the shopping, giving me a bit more control!
      The boys are at the same schools and even catch the same bus – just at the other end of the route. It is so nice to be able to stay in the same community.
      I’m sure I’ll get fresh homegrown produce in my routine before we know it. : o)

  3. Can you begin with some containers? You’ll want some as decor on patio or porch eventually anyway, but for now they can grow veggies. I lived in a caravan for 3 months between selling my first herb farm and starting my second, so I know exactly how you feel, but I didn’t have those lovely views! Love every minute of this respite…work is on the way!

    1. I have plenty of containers I have bought with me and also plenty of plants so it will be simple to set things up – I just need to make it chicken proof! Caravan living isn’t so bad when you know it isn’t for long and have an end goal firmly in sight. : o)

    1. It is a little difficult at times, but living in a caravan is a temporary measure and it will be so worth it in the end. I am really looking forward to getting stuck into my garden. : o)

    1. Those extra things are almost impossible avoid. I once read something along the lines of if you go to the supermarket one day later than you normally would, ie going on the 15th day instead of fortnightly you save yourself two weeks worth of shopping costs at the end of the year. I’m more than happy to avoid the supermarket if possible. : o)

  4. I know what you mean about things leaping in the basket when you go to a supermarket. I guess you will appreciate a return to your normal lifestyle all the more once your house arrives. In the meantime, I hope the weather holds out for you and you enjoy your swims in the sea.

    1. Hi Helen. The weather has had its moments and since we have been here there have been a couple of storms… eek. But it isn’t too bad. I have also tried do a bit of planning around the meals so things are not only easy to store but are less convenient, hopefully meaning less trips to the supermarket! : o)

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