Thursday, 15 December 2011


This long journey started well over a year ago with the ultimate goal of producing a range of fresh produce to supply the family kitchen. I transformed some of our back garden into a Kitchen garden to start growing and rearing some of our own food. When I started growing vegetables,  I spent a lot of time considering what I should grow, firstly what are the things I really like to eat and then tried to determine whether they would all actually grow outside here, needless to say there are many items which you need to grow under cover in a glass house or poly tunnel. So I whittled down my list and came up with the Top Ten veggies to grow, sticking to my idea of planting a little of lots rather than lots of a little. I also looked at veggies that should be planted together and considered rotation for future seasons, putting all this on paper inside, hoping to save me some trouble later outside.  Armed with my master plan I then spent time browsing seed catalogues online, reviewing and assessing the best varieties to grow. Finally I ordered some seeds from various sources and also purchased others in my local garden centre. Then the waiting game started, from sowing the seeds and decisions on staggering the sowings so as to have a reasonably continuous supply of veggies to harvest.

Then the fruit, planting for what felt like a small forest of fruit trees and bushes. Lot's of digging and I mean lot's but it was worth all the effort and was very rewarding this summer, when we enjoyed the fruit produced and lot’s of baking. I planted a number of rows of fruit bushes, a row of Blackcurrants, a row of  Redcurrants, a row of Gooseberries, a row of Tayberries and a couple of rows of Rasberries. I also planted three apple trees, Bramley's Seedling, Cox's Orange Pippin and Katy. A plum tree and a cherry tree. We now have a small family orchard, a little forest of fruit trees. Among the benefits which it provides are enrichment of our garden and wildlife, production of food, an 'edible landscape'.....

Then the chickens for my homemade Chicken Chateau, three Rhode Island Reds, quickly named Poppy, Pansy and Daisy by my two girls. They have been very productive tenants and provide us with a continuous supply of eggs all year, which is great among other things for all that baking. It has been a steep learning curve and some hard work but the end results are rewarding and very satisfying, cooking, eating and learning about really good, home grown food.

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