Jo’s Mini Meadow Part 3: how does nature come to be regarded as kith and kin?
In the third part of Jo Cartmell’s mini meadow series, she asks just how it is that Nature comes to be regarded as kith and kin and explores the importance of establishing a true connection with Nature from a young age. Read more
In praise of the wheelbarrow: low-impact transportation at its best?
Perhaps these days most commonly associated with the garden, there’s more to the humble wheelbarrow than you might think. Sophie Paterson explores its potential, past and present, as a low-impact form of transportation. Read more
Opportunity to rent (or cropshare) 7 organic acres in Sussex
There are 7 acres on offer with this rental rent or organic cropshare opportunity in Sussex (postcode TN35 4AP). It’s across the road from the village of Fairlight and a 5 minute drive to Hastings. Read more
Should we be reliant on cheap foreign labour to work on our farms, or is there a better way to feed ourselves?
Recently The Guardian ran an article by John Harris called “They say after Brexit there’ll be food rotting in the fields. It’s already started.” To summarise, John is saying Brexit has made the UK look an unfriendly place to our European neighbours and with the increasing financial fortunes of eastern European nations, farm workers are… Continue reading Should we be reliant on cheap foreign labour to work on our farms, or is there a better way to feed ourselves? Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for September
September is the end of summer although we’re often lucky to have an Indian summer with blue skies and sunshine, nothing is certain with the weather. The bulk of the harvest comes home now and as crops come out the plot begins to empty. Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for August
August with a little luck brings us the best of the summer weather but being the traditional holiday month it can be hard to keep on top of the vegetable plot growing with a fortnight away, even if a neighbour can be persuaded to water as required. Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for July
July is usually one of the hottest and driest months so a lot of time may be spent watering. You can reduce water loss and so save yourself some time. Mulching with a layer of organic matter will help preserve moisture but may encourage slugs so you will need to take action against them. Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for June
Flaming June should bring us a hot sunshine-filled month with the risk of frost passed and those in more northerly parts should be able to catch up with those in the south. We’re also moving towards the longest day, June 21st being the summer solstice so there is plenty of daylight to let you get… Continue reading Fruit & vegetable growing guide for June Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for May
Generally one of the busiest months on the vegetable plot, here John Harrison shares his fruit and vegetable growing guide for May. The soil is warm and the plants growing well. But watch out for a sneaky late frost. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for frantic last minute wrapping of… Continue reading Fruit & vegetable growing guide for May Read more
Smallholding with heart: advice about getting and running a smallholding from Janet Jenkins of Cuckoo Farm
Embarking on a new life in the countryside, away from the trappings of urban existence, is a dream increasingly common to many. This week we interviewed Janet Jenkins about her and her family’s smallholding journey, putting the heart back into the land at Cuckoo Farm. Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for April
By April spring should be well and truly underway, the soil warming up nicely and everything growing away. Don’t be complacent though, it’s been known for a cold snap with snow to strike even in the sunny south of England. Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for March
March is the month when things really start to move in the growing season. In fact the start of the year used to be Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation, 25th March until 1752 in Britain when we adopted the Gregorian calendar and started our year on the 1st January. Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for February
February, being the last of the winter months , often has a sting and ends up being the coldest month. So, more than any other month, this one you need to play according to local conditions. It’s best to hold off than try to sow in waterlogged, near frozen ground that will most likely rot… Continue reading Fruit & vegetable growing guide for February Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for January
January is generally a very cold month with hard frosts freezing the ground although there are no guarantees with British weather. Looking through my diaries, snow isn’t that likely for a prolonged period, but you never know. Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for December
Predicting winter weather is as hard as predicting summer weather in Britain, which makes it difficult to advise on jobs. We’re pretty sure of seeing some hard frosts but those dreaming of a white Christmas are actually more likely to see a white Easter. Read more
Fruit & vegetable growing guide for October
October is really the last of the hectic months on the vegetable plot. There’s little to sow and plant but still a fair amount to harvest and store away to eat through winter. This is the month when the first frosts usually arrive so killing off all but the hardy plants. Read more
Low-impact & the city 4: front gardens – concrete or plants?
My partner’s mother lives in Hounslow, under the Heathrow flight path and next to a dual carriageway. But she has filled her front and back garden with flowers, trees, bushes and vegetables. When she visits, she often brings pears, plums, spinach, tomatoes or flowers from her garden. Read more
Why do organic farmers have to pay for certification rather than farmers who use toxic chemicals?
It’s always more expensive to do the right thing isn’t it? Like taking the train instead of driving or flying, or buying recycled products, organic food or natural building materials. If you want to do the environmentally-friendly or socially-just thing, it’s going to cost you more money. That can’t be right, can it? Read more