This morning I rocked up to my Mums and Bubs exercise class with a bucket full of fresh lettuces to share. All excess from our garden. In the car on the way, my girls (4 & 5) were munching on lettuce leaves and talking about which part of the lettuce they love best. My heart swelled with pride for my kids and gratitude for my husband who grows food for his family.
I grew up in the 80s when fast food was at its peak. My parents had successful retail stores and worked 7 days a week. Cooking and healthy food was low on their agenda. Convenience was high. We ate out most nights, often from nice restaurants but also often enough, from fast food chains. On the weekend someone told me we parent how we wish we were parented, so I guess this morning I had a ‘high five me’ moment with the lettuce discussion in the car.
I was vegetarian for many years in my 20s and eventually started eating a bit of seafood. I was always a little concerned about the amount of heavy metals in the seafood I was eating. Then after my naturopath told me she was treating a family who owned a seafood store for mercury poisoning I really began to question the fish I was eating.
Pregnant with bubba number 2, Adam started digging a massive hole in our backyard telling me he was going to raise fish out there. I sighed and secretly thought to myself couldn’t we just have a lawn like most suburban families. The hole looked to me like somewhere to bury our ever-dwindling income.
Fast-forward 4 years and our garden is a thriving ecosystem which my kids are completely part of. We have 2 large grow beds thriving with veggies. We have a constant source of sustainable seafood and a garden full of budding fruit trees. I am so grateful that he has a long-term vision for our family and for the planet.
When I was single I was very health conscious and would either buy produce from our growers markets or our local organic shops Now, as a mother of 3 with a limited budget, we would not be able to eat so well if it was not for our garden.
Adam has dedicated himself to the pursuit of Aquaponics. Not only that, he has a vision that every family can easily grow their own food. Everything he does, he has our family in mind. During his process he was pretty happy with the volume and quality of food his aquaponics systems were producing but the time spent maintaining them was eating into his precious and scarce family time.
Our girls love feeding the fish, picking the veggies and helping me prepare the food. I love that they are so involved in this process. I know that many roads lead to Rome and Aquaponics is not the only way to produce food in your backyard. But from what I can see and have experienced, it’s pretty bloody awesome and most importantly, easy.
I am not a green thumb, nor a visionary. I am a lover of the moment and of truth, of people and dance. I usually just see what is in front of me. I take everything literally. When Adam picks me a lettuce for dinner, I see a lettuce. What he is actually giving me is his devotion and love. I am looking for it everywhere else, but there it is in a simple lettuce.
Being married with 3 kids under 5, trying to grow a business and following our dreams and passions is not necessarily conducive to peace and harmony. Nor love and respect at times. It’s a roller coaster ride this marriage thing, a constant dance. We are complete opposites, my husband and I. It’s easy to focus on the difference as a negative thing. So I’m grateful for moments like this morning, in the car, with the lettuce, to remind me how great he is.
So I am shouting out to the world that my husband is awesome! My kids are so lucky that their Dad cares about their health, their beings and the planet and not just in principle. He is out there everyday (and I mean everyday) with his hands in the soil (or water) creating, building, dreaming, visioning, inventing and striving for our family… and essentially for yours. You can check out his dreams at www.flogardens.com.au