Newenham is a growing community located in a picturesque pocket of Adelaide Hills, bordered by tree lines, natural waterways, and gently undulating hills. Being surrounded by nature and away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s undoubtedly a wonderful natural environment for children to grow up in.
Here at Newenham, we are committed to cultivating a community focused on healthy living and getting back to nature. We have dedicated 8 hectares of land to serve as the Newenham Farm, which will have limitless potential not only for the residents of Newenham but for the wider hills community too. We ultimately hope the future Newenham Farm will shape the community’s entire culture and inspire everyone to get involved in its cultivation and share pride in its prosperity.
Benefits of Growing Your Own Food
Growing your own food has many health benefits, from helping you to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables to be able to decide what kinds of fertilizers and pesticides you want to use on your food. It is believed that home-grown vegetables have more nutrients because they can ripen on the plant rather than being picked early and transported. Here are some other reasons that might help you decide to start your own productive garden.
Growing your own food promotes healthy eating because you’ll have a constant flow of tasty food to eat. We all know fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs are the life source of a healthy body. They have vitamins and minerals we need to survive and thrive. By growing your own you also get to choose how to look after your crop to avoid harmful pesticides. Everyone in your family will be eating the freshest ingredients which will contribute to healthy food habits for many years to come.
Spend more time outside
Growing your own food naturally means you will be spending more time outside. Tending to a garden is great for your health as you’ll spend time getting your body moving and reducing sedentary behaviour while getting plenty of fresh country air. Spending time outdoors and in the garden has been known to increase happiness, improve memory, reduce stress, boost energy and also allows you to express your creativity while giving you a sense of achievement. There are many positive outcomes that contribute to personal health and wellbeing, so there’s never been a better time than now to start your own productive garden.
Appreciate your food
When you take the time to grow your own food, you tend to appreciate and enjoy it more. Anyone who has tasted a fresh tomato straight from the vine can easily tell the difference from a store-bought one. There’s something truly satisfying about growing your own food because of the work it takes to plant, tend, and harvest each crop. It’s a good idea to involve the whole family in the process so you can all appreciate the food you eat, the time spent outdoors and even the energy and effort that farmers put into growing the food you purchase.
Understand the seasons
Growing your own garden will help you and your family understand that food availability changes with each season. Instead of thinking fruit and vegetables grow all year round because you can buy produce that has travelled kilometres to get to you each week, you and your family can enjoy and appreciate what is in season. According to scientists, researchers, and natural health experts, it is important to eat with the cycles of nature and only consume food that was grown at the time you are eating it. Eating seasonally is not only better for your health, but it also promotes balance with the earth’s resources. Growing seasonal food means it will be local, fresher and taste better too.
Involving Kids in the Food They Eat
Parents know how challenging it can be to get kids to eat enough fruits and vegetables, and this is where getting them involved in gardening can help. Research shows that when kids help to grow fruits and vegetables, they are more likely to eat them as well as be more open to trying different varieties too. Gardening helps kids to engage their curiosity, to learn to be resourceful and increase their self-confidence. It also has other benefits, such as:
Spending time as a family
Tending to a garden is a great way to get the entire family outside for fresh air and physical activity. Even though a garden can be a lot of work, many hands make light work and while they’re busy, it’s a great way to get kids talking about important things too. Involve the kids in deciding which fruits and vegetables to grow and they’ll get excited to taste the fruits of their labour.
Children can learn a lot from being involved in growing the food they eat. A garden teaches kids where their food comes from, how different plants grow and how to take care of their crops. It’s a great opportunity to introduce herbs as they are generally quick and easy to grow and can be used in a variety of dishes. From when to harvest each vegetable to how to fend off pests naturally, the learning possibilities are endless.
Let’s face it; most kids could use a little lesson in patience (and some adults too). Teach your children this valuable lesson with your own garden waiting game.
Growing your own food requires a level of responsibility for all family members. Help your kids learn the importance of being responsible by taking care of a section of the garden and help them notice each different stage of the growing process. Fruit and vegetables will need tending, watering and some specific care from time to time. Teach them that if they neglect their garden, it will show, not only in the leaves and look of their patch but also in the produce they harvest. Gardening is a commitment to the family, to the plants and to themselves, help them to embrace responsibility.
Respect for the Environment
Help your children understand the importance of caring for the environment and sustainable consumption. Our ancestors depended on food they grew and understood the importance of sustainable practices including crop rotation, crop diversity, natural pest eliminators, companion planting and how to use waste to enhance the soil. By encouraging this way of living, we can reduce our impact on the earth and help to slow the pace of environmental damage. Growing your own natural produce will also help kids understand the value of natural ingredients and they’ll gain an appreciation for nature that can carry through the rest of their lives.
Best foods to grow with your kids
Not all crops are grown alike. Some vegetables are much easier to grow than others, which makes them perfect for beginner gardeners and kids. When choosing which vegetables to grow with your children, consider growing difficulty, variety, and seasonal cycles. Children will love seeing brightly coloured veggies emerge, and anything you can eat right off the vine will be a real treat.
Tomatoes & Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are resilient and fun crops. They continue growing and fruiting throughout the season for a foolproof harvest. Just pick them as they begin to turn red. Cherry tomatoes are great for kids because they are fun, noticeable, and you can eat them on the spot.
Cucumbers are a vegetable without a strong or distinct flavour if you have picky kids. They are simple to grow and fairly resilient. Plus, you can make cucumbers a little more exciting with hummus or another healthy dip!
Strawberries are super easy to grow and can be planted in the ground, hanging baskets or pots. Kids will get excited when they see the first berries, then they can watch day by day as they go from green to red until they’re ready to pick and pop straight into their mouths (after a quick rinse of course!).
Snow Peas are great to grow once the weather starts to turn cool. They’re a fab vegie for kids to plant and even better to eat once they’re ready.
Spinach, silverbeet or kale
These hardy leafy vegetables are perfect to plant during cooler months and they all come in a variety of different colours which can add a pop of colour to brighten up the day. They’re quick to grow and can be included in loads of tasty recipes that the kids are sure to love.
Radishes are known for being easy to grow. They are very durable and only take about 6 weeks to get from seed to harvest. If you’re impatient, this may be a perfect crop to begin with. You can plant radishes to grow multiple times throughout the growing season, so there’s always something to look forward to.
Carrots are simple to grow and fun to harvest; pulling them from the ground yourself reveals the surprisingly diverse sizes, shapes, and colours carrots can have that you don’t normally see at the supermarket. Just don’t plant them too close to radishes since they share the same growing space underground. If underground growing space is limited, or the soil is interrupted in the early growing stages, carrots may become stubby and not grow to their traditional grocery store standards. This is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about the value of naturally grown foods, even though they may not look like what the grocery store is selling.
Yellow or Green Beans
Beans are easy to grow, healthy to eat, and fun to collect. Plant a mix of both green and yellow beans for a variety of colour in the garden and on your plate. You can assign your kids the challenge of hunting for hidden beans that are ready to harvest.
Helpful online resources
There are a range of articles and resources that will help you on your productive gardening journey and we’ve listed just a few to get you started:
Grow your own garden
A productive year-round vegie patch
A colourful vegie patch
We believe gardening of any kind is great for health and wellbeing but we love the idea of productive gardens that can supply a range of fresh, healthy food all year round. The plan is for Newenham’s Farm and produce store to shape the community’s entire culture and become a bountiful source of pride for everyone involved, including the kids. We can’t wait to share it with you in the future, but in the meantime, ‘have a go’ and start your own veggie garden.
If you’d like to secure your future in a vibrant and diverse community that focuses on health, happiness, and wellbeing, then visit our Sales & Information Centre, open from 12 – 5 pm every day 164 Flaxley Road, Mount Barker or you can book a personal tour at a time that suits you.
Come and see for yourself why you’ll love living at Newenham.