By Aonthip Aorthong, DET SD
I started making my own home garden in 2012 when I married and moved into a small townhome in Praeksa, a small rural town in Samutprakarn province. Traditional Thai recipes need lots of fresh herbs and seasonal ingredients that my garden could provide.
Although we live far from stores, markets and other urban facilities, we’ve enjoyed a natural and peaceful life for the last 8 years. Instead of driving a few kilometers for a pack of chili peppers or holy basil, I grow them in my own backyard.
It’s fun to learn gardening day-by-day in the outdoors and come to understand each of my plant’s unique behaviors and requirements. I’m constantly innovating to overcome space and sunshine limitations in my small space. Although it’s hard work tending my garden on weekdays, I always look forward to getting up early on the weekend to greet my little vegetables that glisten with the morning dew under the golden dawn light.
The organic food my home garden provides not only benefits our family’s health, but it also adds to our happiness among friends and neighbors. These days, digital disruption seems to steal more and more of our personal time and weigh on our happiness. But in our backyard garden, I’ve found a way to allow myself to release my stress.
After spending some hours on housework, my husband likes to join me outside to enjoy his hobby of raising bonsai miniature trees. He always shares his knowledge and lessons learned to help me grow my plants even better.
I also have a group of gardening colleagues to exchange knowledge, tools, seeds, recipes and our accomplishments with. Every weekend, I reserve one day to return to my hometown to look after my elderly parents who require medical care. Besides our weekly family gathering, they love to eat our “ugly” but healthy vegetables and fruits. I can also take the chance to pick limes, bananas and fruit from my parent’s large orchard in exchange for my veggies.
Nowadays, the BTS sky train line extension has transformed Samutprakarn into yet another crowded province in Thailand. More shopping malls and stores are appearing around my village. Although life seems to be more comfortable, it takes almost one full hour to drive just 3-4 km in the heavy traffic to buy some ingredients.
We not only waste time on the road but also risk affecting our mental health, add to our energy costs and contribute to more carbon emissions that pollute our city. Meanwhile, during COVID-19, crowded supermarkets pose another health risk. So our simple backyard garden can once again help us live more healthy and worry-free.
When my garden yields a normal amount of ingredients, I go to the market and a small local supermarket only once a week. When I have too much produce, I preserve them in different ways like making frozen lime juice, dried lemongrass, or fermented ginger.
I now see our home garden as not only something fun but a place that provides food security for our family and hope for a better tomorrow.
About the Author (Editorial Team)
Born between Gen X and Gen Y, I have an art degree and a Master’s degree in entrepreneurship & management. In 1999, I joined Delta as a plant admin officer. My life-long learning and desire to uncover Delta’s hidden excellence led me to be Sustainable Development Manager. I enjoy gardening, cooking, reading and D.I.Y. projects with family and pets. We can meet on IG my account is: Aonthip.Kate.