About me

Hello, thank you for visiting my blog!

I am an organic kitchen gardener, chef, writer, teacher and mother based in  Bruton, Somerset where I grow delicious vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs in my garden and allotment using no dig methods.  I love  reading (my degree is in Literature and Art History), crafting, visiting interesting places, exploring the countryside, trying out new recipes and food, making potions and learning new skills.

Using vegetables, herbs and flowers that we grow, I make delicious plant based, affordable, seasonal healthy food (we worked out that a lunch of 16 different dishes plus homemade bread cost around 60p a head for 20 people!)

 

 

I live in a semi detached ex-council house with two teenage sons and a daughter who studies at Cardiff University (so she is mostly there), two gerbils (my daughter brought them home ‘just’ for Christmas a few years ago, they have become a much loved feature of the kitchen) and Bunny the house rabbit. (She was a garden rabbit but moved in when my daughter went to university: Bunny loves having her ears stroked and fresh vegetables.) Here I grow as much as I can in my front and back garden, indoors and at my allotment.

Raising a family as a single mum on a small income provides many opportunities for using my imagination and creativity as I try to live as sustainably and thriftily as possible, quite a challenge at times with teenagers.

Currently I am redesigning much of my front and back garden at home to create an even more productive growing space, using no dig, permaculture and homesteading ideas. I love the idea of living self sufficiently off grid in a rural permaculture homestead – such a great dream! However I don’t have the land (or the money…) so I’m accentuating the positive and using what I do have to design the most abundant space I can both inside and outside my home. A kind of tiny-homesteading.

My work as a kitchen gardener includes working for commercial growers, restaurants, on allotments, in domestic gardens, for transition towns and on large private estates. I am the kitchen gardener for Roth Bar and Grill at Hauser and Wirth, Somerset, supplying the restaurant and bar with seasonal vegetables, herbs and edible flowers.

It is going to be a busy and exciting year establishing this as I am also co-writing a book with Charles for Permanent Publications, No Dig Organic Home and Garden.

no-dig-front-cover

For several years I had an at home craft business making and selling crocheted flowers and jewellery and other gifts made from glass beads and sea glass which I mostly found on the Jurassic coastline of Dorset. I enjoy knitting, especially socks, crochet and upcycling things. I wish I could sew better!

I grow and forage for plants to make natural potions for the garden, home and body. Genuinely seasonal plant based food is a particular passion: I love developing (and eating!) recipes based on what I can pick that day and from my home produced store cupboard. I preserve what I can so we can enjoy summer’s bounty throughout the winter – canning, dehydrating, jams and chutneys, wine, oils, interesting alcoholic potions and vinegars.

I am the mother of teenage boys so I also sometimes shop for pizza, chips and other ‘necessities’ at Lidl. I love freshly ground coffee, roast potatoes and red wine.

 

In this blog I’ll be sharing the adventure of transforming (I hope!) my home and garden as well as my interests, work, some of the lovely places we visit and recipes for some of the food and potions I make.

My website is www.StephanieHafferty.co.uk.

I have a passion for growing and have worked as a kitchen gardener on large private estates, for restaurants, on allotments, in domestic gardens, for transition towns and commercial growers. Until October 2015, I transformed the kitchen garden  to no dig at Stavordale Priory for Sir Cameron Macintosh and Michael Le Poer Trench and ran it for 3 1/2 years. Visiting the kitchen garden in the summer of 2015, Kevin McCloud said that it is a work of “brilliance and expertise“.

Some of the projects I have been involved in – I do the edible plants, not the topiary!

With my partner Charles Dowding, I help pick amazing salad at his gorgeous no dig garden at Homeacres and make huge seasonal lunches for his gardening courses there.

I write and take photographs for gardening books and magazines, create educational pop up gardens for festivals and shows including advising and participating in the Horticultural Village at the Bath and West Show, make up cycled crafts and give talks and workshops on various subjects including gardening and natural potion making. My work has featured in many publications including Gardens IllustratedPermaculture MagazineGrow It (Now Kitchen Gardens Magazine) and Mark Boyle’s Moneyless Manifesto.