I’ve been a bit remiss about posting so in order to capture the essence of the summer as best I can I’ll post a little a bit more often. A retrospective of our summer here!
Been at Blaenffos Market Garden on and off since May. The home of my long time friends Debbie Rees and Julian McKenny. Of course I’m biased but it’s a darn good place to learn about growing, living with a little, recycling, reusing, working out the right compromises for a more sustainable way of life and getting the job done. Although it is not my plan to be a market gardener I am better equipped as a result of being here to grow fruit and vegetables for ourselves. Inspired by the sheer tenacity it has taken to achieve what is here over the last few years, we will leave more confident. Rob’s learning has been in the building of a timber building that will replace the small stall at the entrance to the property and serve as a shop. Moreover the land here is beautiful and we have been blessed with a great summer!

The following notes are ideas and practice that take place here. (Things I’ve picked up from Debbie and Julian).

 The very best job of all! P1020153


Windrow system

Mark out a straight column of about 1 meter or a good arm stretch and as long as you need. Say 6-10 metres.

Ideally do it in an area that will ultimately become a veg bed.

Gather organic waste.

Layer up – the trick is to keep the sides square and the top flat. Do the sides first and fill in.

Choose waste products for structure ie: the broad bean stems the long lettuce stalks laid flat around the edge can stop the old potatoes falling down etc!

Tear up cardboard (easier if wet). A thick layer. P1020376

P1020374Add a bucket or two of urine if necessary. It is all about getting the nitrogen/ carbon balance right.

When it is a work of great beauty and you are feeling very satisified see it as a signal that it may turn out well!

Cover over when complete and let the composting begin.