Summer, my favourite time of year. The heat, the sunshine, the sudden downpours in the afternoons that drench the ground and cool the air. The garden is lush and burgeoning with food, and the kids spend hour upon hour playing in the yard. The sprinkler often doubles as a garden watering device and child coolant. 

Our tomatoes have rocketed up their stakes and now reach the eaves of our house. The beans are beaning, and the summer onslaught of seemingly endless courgettes has begun. The apple trees are laden, and we have a slow but steady trickle of strawberries and raspberries. Fresh-picked salads are a regular part of our diet, and we are working our way through the last of the potato crop. I delight in simple meals that have been completely home-grown and caught - early season potatoes, salad, and snapper caught off the west coast. We can even cook the fish in olive oil produced on family land in Northland. These meals may not cost much, but its dining that makes me feel like a king. Nature's riches are more profound than bank notes. 

Within 6 m of the walls of our home there are lettuces, sweet corn, beans, tomatoes, squash, rockmelon, rhubarb, tomatillo, strawberries, swiss chard, capers, raspberries, onions, blackberries, boysenberries, grape, apples, peaches, cucumber, courgettes, kale, mizuna, tat soi, lemons, limes, oranges, Jerusalem artichoke, potatoes, rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme, basil, coriander, and avocado. Our yard is not large, but everything is crammed in, forming a visual riot of production. And whilst I yearn for a larger garden, our current home has taught me just how much you can do with what you have got. 

Courgette "Gold Rush"
Tomatillo - a Mexican fruit that tastes like a lime-infused tomato
Dwarf beans
Espaliered Fuji apples

For me, producing food from the land is a blessing and a real privilege.

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet."

  James Oppenheim