A Working Garden

Get the satisfaction of growing and eating your home grown vegetables

The very first thing I must point out is that I'm no expert vegetable gardener. I can't afford all the special fertilizers, the fancy bean poles and other such items, my vegetable growing is very much, 'dig it, sow it and (hopefully) eat it' or make it into something!

The idea of growing my own vegetables was a combination of things; my want to lead a more self-reliant life, to eat better food knowing where it came from, to earn a little extra cash or barter from Chutneys etc. made from the produce and to basically lead a more basic lifestyle based somewhat on how my Grandparents had lived on 'The Home Front' during WW2 and the years afterwards.
Memories of my Grandparents Gardens stayed with me, but it is only recently that I have respected what they did and indeed, the reasons!

We are lucky in so far we have a large garden and am able to have the diversity of lawn, greenery, vegetables and keep chickens as well. For this reason, I like to call it 'A Garden Farm'

The vegetable section is not huge, the actual growing area is only about 500sq.ft in total. There are two Greenhouses (both 'give aways'); one is 10' x 6' and the other 8' x 6'.
From this we supply ourselves with about 85% vegetable self-sufficiency, leaving out main crop Potatoes (cheap at the farm shop and saves even more digging) and winter salads. I believe in vegetable gardens and the owner having a hibernation!!

We also grow some vegetables in pots and I must admit, that with retirement of sorts not far off, see this as an experimentation for times when a Patio is a far better option for ageing bones and muscles. It is this section which I want to expand upon as time goes by.

Why grow your own?

The nice thing about vegetable growing is that it's not simply a financial thing, it's a hobby and fulfills our natural instincts to 'look after our own'.

With mass factory food production nowadays, Farmers have to resort to growing food faster than often natural and this means all sorts of stuff being sprayed over crops and fields.
Fair enough, the Organic Farming Industry is coming along in leaps and bounds - but that is where the cost kicks in!!

Young Broad Bean Plants A vegetable patch in the garden is not an eyesore, nor does it necessarily mean you're going to attract all sorts of bugs and other nasties into your sun bathing summer exercises!
It can blend in nicely and many flowers can be grown within the vegetables themselves, in many cases actually assisting in each others growth, also taking one set of nasties away from one to the other - a natural sacrifice!

So these pages cover a frugal and basic approach to the garden along with other essentials such as Lawnmowers, Tools and Storage etc.

Also covered in this section are Natures Free Foods . An occasional walk out onto the fields or in the Woods can give you so much and I'm sure that not many of us haven't either made or been given Blackcurrant Jam at some stage in our lives!

New Pages - Month by Month guide to Vegetable Gardening

If starting vegetable gardening for the first time, loads of people have old pots etc. to give away and you'll often find loads in Skips !

Not always great in January, but rewarding in Summer
Sweet Corn in August

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The Vegetable Year
Pages written by my good friend John Harrison




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