Fruit and Vegetables at Home

I used to have an allotment. However, I gave it up a couple of years ago for a number of reasons. It was a 40 minute walk away (the nearest site when I took it on); it wasn’t particularly friendly (or more accurately when I went, there never seemed to be anybody there); with only two of us, the quantity that could be grown far exceeded our needs and to not cultivate it properly if there were other people waiting seemed a waste; and there was relatively constant vandalism of one sort or another (sheds broken into, produce stolen, etc.). (In fact the final straw was when somebody decided that my 10 year cultivated topsoil was worthwhile stealing and removed a spit-depth of soil from some of my raised beds).

So now I grow at home. I’m lucky to have a relatively large garden. Its a right-angled triangle of about a third of an acre including the house. However, as you can see, it is well covered by largely mature trees which means the amount of space which is suitable for growing vegetables is limited. The oak in the middle of our garden is between 100 and 150 years old and the one next door is even larger. The sycamores are 50 or 60 years old and around 50 foot high. 

A rough plan of the garden

We’ve lived in our house for around 30 years, during which time we have planted apple trees, taken out a number of (large) trees, bought greenhouses and a polytunnel (for tomatoes), (the polytunnel has become a netted space after the plastic gave up the ghost). We’ve also bought a couple of 6ftx4ft raised beds filled with compost and topsoil to try and grow better carrots (the ground is clay which is hard to improve).

The purpose of this part of the site is to link together all the bits and pieces that we grow (it may include the tomatoes), explaining why we grow what we grow and keeping an ongoing record of what we’ve harvested.

So, with spreadsheet in hand I’ll start by describing what we’re trying to achieve.

We want to get fresh vegetables and fruit that are nicer harvest fresh and cooked straight away. We can’t see any point in growing things that are easily available in the supermarket and don’t taste any worse because of it. I.e. we don’t grow potatoes, onions, fennel (I’ll explain) but we do grow lettuce, tomatoes (of course), cucumbers, beans, courgettes, radishes, raspberries, apples, rhubarb, strawberries, etc..

We’d like to have something from the garden (or the freezer, or the dehydrator) every week (but we’re not precious about it). We’d like to eat most of what we grow fresh and not have a huge glut followed by a dearth (but again if we have too much we’ll give it away or compost it). In general we want to raise everything from seed rather than buying plants (I think you get a bigger choice and can grow varieties that won’t appear in the shops).

And that’s it, an introduction to this part of the site. Lets see how it goes from here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.