Life Of Pie

Life Of Pie

by Jez Hall

The other day, after about half a week of rain, I decided to tidy up our "area of self-sufficiency" in preparation for the Winter Lockdown. So I pulled out one of the two grow-bags from the patio area, and was surprised to find a large bunch of cherry tomatoes growing under the canopy of a massive courgette plant. These little bright red gems had been merrily growing away, minding their own business, and had gone completely un-noticed until now. The courgettes always had lots of attention and had produced about a dozen fruits which we told our son were mini-cucumbers so they all got eaten. However because the courgette plant took over the whole area, we forgot all about the tomatoes.

It got me thinking about which things are easy to grow or make? How easy it would be to become like Tom and Barbara in "The Good Life"? Is it really possible to wave goodbye to supermarket shopping?

Clearly the tomatoes in the grow-bag seemed to thrive on neglect, and the courgette didn't really get much fuss other than the odd can of water, but surely that can't be true of all plants?
I didn't need to think about this too long. Of course the answer is "no" - it is not true of most plants, and I take my hat off to all the gardeners who have the time, patience, skill and know-how to get a decent crop from their gardens. Of course I would love to have a cow and some pigs in a massive garden that I roam around in sitting on a huge diesel rotavating machine, just like Tom Good. But the reality is, it's never going to happen because I just don't have the time or skills to do it.

But I can still dabble in a little bit of home-made joy. We have an apple tree, and so do the neighbours, and there are always lots of nice big fruits waiting to be scooped up. Couple this with the blackberries that I collect when walking the dog (one for me, one for the mutt - she loves them), I can easily present my wife (Mary Berry's grand-daughter) with a bowl of ingredients to make a tasty apple pie.

"The last thing you need to be eating is apple pie", Mary-Junior will say to me, I bet.
Later, because she loves cooking really, the pie will be placed on the table and I will get
"You're spoilt, you are. How many people do you know who are having home-made apple pie today?"

She's right of course. None.
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