Once in a while especially during spring and summer, we get a knock on the door from one of our neighbours, usually, they come laden with vegetables or eggs that are from their garden or small farm.  At first, we thought it was unusual but nice,  considering we hardly spoke any Spanish. Our understanding and communication skills were pretty dire over a year ago, and it took forever to communicate and understand, but they were patient and have always made us feel a part of the neighbourhood.

Nowadays, it’s a lot easier, and it’s great how we can talk about gardening and finally get to ask them on how on earth they can grow tomatoes the size of a watermelon! Ok, a little exaggeration there, but if you have seen a home-grown Valencian tomato then you too will wonder, why on earth don’t  all tomatoes look and taste like these?! Apparently, it’s just all about love, care and plenty of sunshine. 😉

Paying for vegetables and fruits nowadays seem ridiculous to me, since we found out that our neighbours grow everything in their back yard. From the first month we moved to Valencia, we have had a sack of oranges, lemons and plums. Bags of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lettuce, herbs, olives, spinach…. well you name it, and the best thing about it is that we are welcome to come around anytime and pick whatever we want.  My neighbours are so cool! The more I spend time in their vegetable gardens, the more I want one too!

Unfortunately, our backyard was concreted by the previous owners,  and even though we have considered creating our own vegetable garden we would need to bulldoze a part of the yard, another job that needs to tick off the list, in time I guess we’ll get there. But for now, we will continue to welcome our neighbour’s generous nature, it’s a shame to let it go to waste, right? 🙂

Valencian Tomato
Valencian Tomato
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British/Filipina now living in Valencia, Spain. Mum, wife, designer and illustrator. I am also the author of Ohla Living where I share my lifestyle, travel, recipes and creative ideas.


  1. Carol Ann Gingras


    Sounds wonderful living in or near Valencia! I was reading your blog and have a suggestion on how to get a backyard garden without breaking up the cement in your yard. You can make wooden boxes from palettes.
    1-Make a box with 4 palettes
    2- Line it with black garden fabric to hold everything in
    3- Fill the bottom of the box with rocks, then add a foot of sand, followed by leaves and compost or old manure, and finally with 2 feet of good soil.
    Voilà! Don’t forget to water the box every day if it doesn’t rain.

    If you want the box to look pretty, you can paint it with non-toxic paint before putting the fabric and soil in the box. You won’t have to bend down to garden. You are re-using palettes that are everywhere, and you are showing your boys how easy it is to be a little sustainable by growing your own food. You are also staying with your design for the patio by reusing palettes!

    Carol Ann in the Yukon

    • Hi Carol Ann, thanks for your comment. I have thought about this and it’s a great idea! Wooden pallettes are so useful for many things, and luckily freely available around where I live at no cost. I am waiting for the cool weather to come its a lot better for pottering around in the garden. 🙂

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