A Yurt Camp – they had their Big Green Idea in 2006. They left Britain for France in 2007. After three years of holdups, setbacks planning battles and sheer hard work, a young family is opening the yurt camp they always dreamed of.
In August 2007, Brighton commuter Alex and his textile-artist partner left their two-bedroom mid-terrace home for 10.5 acres in the Dordogne.
Their aim: to live the self-sufficient dream and open a family yurt camp .
When the wicked weeds start sprouting you know it’s time to get moving. There’s a couple of months starting when spring begins to really happen that will determine the success of your season, if you fall behind then it’s so hard to catch up later. In UK that time generally starts sometime in March, it has started already in southern England but probably not till late March in northern Scotland. (more…)
The following info may look simplistic, but it is sound, experience-based , common-sense advice, and if you follow it, you will have success with potato-growing.
If you’re trying to be self-sufficient in cool temperate regions, potatoes will likely be your most important crop apart from wheat.
Even without special storage facilities you can just about eat potatoes all year round. They are a productive, easy to cultivate and usually reliable crop, and provide a good supply of carbohydrate, protein and vitamins for your diet. Apparently no other crop produces more energy per acre than potatoes. I wonder what people did before they arrived from South America in the 16th century?
You grow potatoes by planting a potato! A whole host of important things stem from that fact: (more…)
At last! The days begin to noticably lengthen, the sun feels warmer than it did a few weeks ago and there are signs of things growing again.
I’ve just spent a couple of weeks up in northern Scotland at the Phoenix Project, apologies for no articles in recent weeks – I’ll try to make up for that soon. There’s a good selection of vegetables for eating fresh from the garden there now: kales, cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli, even some calabrese, carrots, turnips, jerusalem artichoke, radicchio, leeks, parsnip, brussels sprouts, swede, winter radish, beetroot.
Its time to begin sowing and planting outside if conditions are favourable. (more…)
To grow a seed likes warmth and moisture, exactly what you should avoid when storing seeds! Can you recognise the seeds in the picture? They are all ones I’ve saved this year, answers at bottom of article.
Properly stored most seeds will keep and germinate well for several years, some – like tomatoes – can remain usable for a decade or more.
Storing seeds wisely enables you to save money and compare different varieties. I almost always grow more than one variety of each vegetable and there are often surprisingly large differences in how they perform and taste. This would be too expensive to do if I had to buy fresh seed for each variety every year so I take care of my seeds and add new varieties every year to sow alongside good performers from previous years.
Cool, dry and dark is how you should store your seeds. (more…)
If you haven’t yet done all your winter chores on the land by now, then you have my sympathy but please be very, very choosy about when and what you do. Walking on wet, recently dug soil compacts it, making it hard for roots to penetrate. Better to wait till the ground is hopefully drier. This is more important on heavy clay soils than light sandy soils, but important on both, nonetheless.
You can still be clearing trees, shrubs, brambles and the like from ground you plan to dig but I wouldn’t do any digging now unless the soil is quite dry (unlikely in most places). If you do have a lot to do before spring then you should probably crack on with what you can now, January and February are usually worse. (more…)
Ever wondered why we usually grow many veg in rows? Two main reasons: to make it easier to cultivate and weed between the plants, and so we know where they are!
What is the best spacing and arrangement for various crops? It depends how you grow them and what you want to achieve.
First you need to bear in mind my previous post: they must have sufficient light, water and nutrients. The more you want to produce from a given space the more effort you have to make to ensure none of these are deficient. (more…)
Energy, water nutrients — the three big things a plant needs. All are essential.
Surprisingly similar to you and me, really.
Turnip: light, water & feed me
The main difference is the source of energy – plants get it from light by photosynthesis using their amazing chlorophyll invention, we animals eat organic material and breathe in oxygen. Photosynthesis
Liebig says: growth is determined by the scarcest resource, not the total of resources. Law of the Minimum
You need to remember that. Provided pests and disease don’t afflict your plants their success will be determined by the most lacking of these three essential resource types. (more…)
You aren’t going to completely feed a family of five with just 10 square feet of garden (1 square metre) or 100, or even 1000 square feet. And certainly not on one hour’s work a week. So what can you achieve?
First, assess what useable growing space you have; how many people you are trying to feed; what are they like to eat and how much time will you all be able to spend gardening – particularly in spring when the workload is highest. (more…)
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