I want to produce more fertility for my garden close to home, so I am exploring ways of increasing the amount of compost I can produce.
On April 4th, Charles, Felix (a German university student who is working at Homeacres with Charles for four months) and I travelled to Axminster, Devon for the River Cottage ‘Meet the Experts’ Day, where Charles and I were two of the experts giving talks.
I first came across the idea of using a powdered clay based toothpowder when I met a woman selling it at the Offgrid Festival three or four years ago. Until then, I had been using a fluoride free toothpaste from the local whole food shop (no artificial sweeteners, SLS etc) which was fine – however trying this was a revelation! It made my teeth feel really clean and felt so much healthier and pleasanter in my mouth than toothpaste. I love making things for myself rather than buying them where possible (I had to buy the ingredients but you know what I mean…), it lasts a long time, is cheap to make and can easily be stored in old jam jars, so doesn’t require any fancy storage or equipment.
My favourite part of the front garden has three raised beds made four years ago, from timber treated with organic oils from Osmo, because I have grown so much food there. This part of the garden was a weed-infested rockery when I moved here. A few years ago I removed the rockery plants and mulched it, hoping to grow veg but hit two main problems – the soil is very shallow and on top of builders’ rubble (from an extension in the 1970s, it is quite a bit higher than my neighbours’ gardens for this reason) and the most enthusiastic bindweed I have ever experienced, which appears to have roots deep into the centre of the earth!
My vision for the garden is to make it full of delicious abundance and as self sufficient in compost and fertility as possible by the end of 2016 – all as frugally as I can with minimum impact on the environment.
When my house was built around 1930, rural social housing for those on low incomes was designed to include a garden large enough to feed a family. The people must have worked amazingly hard, tending their gardens after long working days.
Here in Somerset and across much of England comfrey grows wild, providing an important source of food for bees feeding from the clusters of droopy flowers and other wildlife including moth caterpillars and ladybirds. The large hairy leaves can be spread as a mulch, added to the compost heap (make sure there are no seeds otherwise it will invade everywhere), dried for winter use and made into an excellent plant food. Comfrey is a key element in making more of fertility for the garden at home.
Hello, I’m Steph, welcome to NoDigHome.
In this blog I’ll be sharing experiences as I work towards transforming my home and garden. I’m exploring different ways to make life as healthy, abundant, self sufficient, low impact and thrifty as is realistically possible for me. Homesteading on a very small scale!