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Posted: Thursday 25 August, 2011

by Rosemary at 11:17am in Growing Comments closed

This time last year, the 3/4 acre paddock that is now the vegetable garden was grass. Since then, we've put on new gates, tidied up the fence, built five 1.2m x 18m raised beds, four compost bays and two bays for leaf mould. It's also become the site for the temporary pen for the meat chickens.

Vegetable garden Spetember 2011Vegetable garden September 2011

Dan's now working on the plan for Phase 2. This winter, we're planning to put in two further raised beds - one for asparagus and rhubarb and one for comfrey. Once it's empty, we're going to move the greenhouse into the vegetable garden - in its current position, it gets shaded by a beautiful lime tree. It's fine in the spring for starting plants off, but the tomatoes haven't done well because of the lack of sunshine. Since it's on a good concrete base, we'll replace it with 12' x 8' shed, for storage.

We also want to improve the space for the meat chickens. We'll build two permanent pens in the corner of the garden, with proper gates. They do love to be out and about. In fact, the Hubbards this year have been the best we've ever had and I think that's because they've had much more room to exercise.

As well as all this, Dan needs to find space for our drying green - at the moment, my washing line is tied between a shed and a tree, which works fine, but it's right in front of John and Linda's French doors. Plus there's five pear trees to be fan trained against the west range wall and a few plum trees to go in as well.

Finally, and most exciting, we've managed to save enough money to invest in a polytunnel. Once we get the hang of it, we should truly be self-sufficient in vegetables and maybe have a small surplus to sell. John and Linda are also producing pot herbs and bedding plants for sale, so it will give them much more scope.

Mind you, there's some fencing to be done before we get to actually DOING all these things...

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