Yesterday was Earth Day 2020, a time for thinking about nature and our planet. No dig gardening is an earth inspired way of growing which protects the soil, soil life and environment. There’s been a phenomenal increase in interest in no dig gardening, which is fantastic!
It’s our annual open day at Charles Dowding’s no dig market garden Homeacres on Sunday September 1st, where he grows over £22,000 of veg in only 1/4 acre of no dig beds. Here are some photos of his abundant plot, showing the beauty of a productive edible garden.
Sweet, crisp and so fruity, this delicious salad makes use of summery gluts. The raspberry balsamic dressing is delicious poured over mixed leaves and roasted chicories, and is a great way to use less than perfect raspberries.
Hasn’t the month passed quickly? I can hardly believe that it is August on Thursday. Today I’ve been enjoying more of an indoor kind of day, catching up with things at my desk and general chores, because it has – finally, oh joy! – been raining. I love sunshine and warmth, but it has been very dry for my garden and the polytunnel has become so hot.
It’s spring and I am thinking of winter vegetables! Root vegetables are surprisingly easy to grow using no dig methods. Yesterday I sowed parsnips, carrots, radish, Hamburg parsley and scorzonera into a recently applied mulch of compost on top of my heavy clay allotment soil.
The Queen visited “my” work kitchen garden yesterday, so I spent time on Wednesday making sure it was all weeded and spruced up. Ok, so perhaps the purpose of her visit to Bruton wasn’t to gaze upon my herbs and veggies but it’s not every day that one of the most famous people in the world pops down my high street!
It was thirsty work, so I enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea sitting in the sunshine on the wide timbers of the raised beds.
The Queen was in Bruton to open a new music building at The Kings School, a public (ie: private and very expensive for my international readers) and celebrate 500 years since the school received its Royal Charter. HRH also took time to visit Hauser and Wirth Somerset – where I run the kitchen garden for Roth Bar and Grill – and local race horse owner, Paul Nicholls’ stables.
I had a great time on holidays, but it’s nice being home again too, especially now that spring is in the air!
It has been a busy time since my last blog post and how the garden has changed! The weather has been typically British, from unseasonably warm to icy cold (for Somerset) and back again. Mornings are misty, deciduous trees almost entirely without leaves now and anything frost tender has died.
The polytunnel has frozen a few times now, I love the patterns on the frozen polythene, although it is still reaching 30˚C in there some days. I have electronic thermometers in the greenhouse and polytunnel and it’s so interesting to see the extremes of temperatures undercover, compared with outside in the garden.
This week began with the Autumn Equinox, the festival of Mabon, which starts on September 21st
As summer mellows into autumn, the allotment and garden is full of ripening vegetables and fruit.
I am here surrounded by piles of baking recipe books and have written a very long shopping list, in preparation for the annual cake baking marathon later this week for our open day at Homeacres. All kinds of cakes, including vegan and gluten free, and there’s Charles gorgeous no dig garden to explore too.
Photography day course 10 – 4 on Thursday September 6th at Charles Dowding’s garden,
Homeacres, Alhampton, Somerset, BA4 6PZ.
In the bleak mid-winter, frost made the earth stand hard as iron, water like a stone. No problem for no dig gardeners – Charles and I decided to make another bed at Homeacres!
Regular readers of my blog will know that one of passions, and fortunately work, is harvesting seasonal homegrown vegetables, fruit and herbs and delicious food. For our no dig gardening day course at Homeacres on Saturday, I made lunch for 17 (including Charles and myself) using Charles’ gorgeous vegetables (plus some bought ingredients, things we can’t grow easily which I’ll explain later) for around £1 a head, including muffins.
Last week (December 6th) I took some photos of another of my work places, so here is a mini-tour of Charles Dowding‘s no dig market garden at Homeacres.
BD 500, strange as it sounds, is made from cow manure which has been stuffed into the horn of a female cow in the autumn and buried in the soil, pointed end downwards, over the winter to mature and ferment.
Open Garden at Homeacres on Sunday, 1 – 5 pm. Visit us at Charles’ amazing no dig market garden. A great opportunity to find out more about no dig gardening, growing vegetables and to try some of my cakes!