Sunday, 27 October 2013

The good life

My dream in life has always been to live just like Tom and Barbara in 'The good life'. To be as self sufficiently as possible, putting in hard work to get something truly marvellous back.

 It's the hippy in me fighting to break free!

At the old house, I 'dabbled' in growing my own. There was already a greenhouse erected when we moved in so I tried my hand at peppers, rhubarb, tomatoes and potatoes. The potatoes were the most successful, only giving us one meals worth but did taste yummy. The tomatoes tasted awful and the peppers never amounted to much. Although I do believe this was a common problem with most growers and not just me being really bad at it.
The new house being rented, doesn't offer much scope for a patch. We have made a herb garden for the kids and the children managed to plant some tomato and bean seeds earlier in the year which we sent to Nannies to grow. Again, we managed a meals worth of each!

I am now getting one step closer to the good life. I am seriously looking to getting a few chucks early next year (thanks to our trip to Coombe Mill for making me thoroughly obsessed with the little things. Who new they were so cuddly?), I've discovered how to make my own butter (get me!) and bread and the biggie, I've managed to secure a plot at the local village allotment!!

SO excited! Every area I've lived in before has had year long waiting lists but here, the parish council has recently secured a piece of land to use as an allotment and I have managed to bag a plot.

The 'lottie' (as I've discovered those in the know affectionately call it after joinng a few very helpful facebook communities) is literally a 2 minute walk from the house, is ready to use now and is just £25 per year, so it couldn't be more ideal.

This is all very well and good, but obviously my past 'dabblings' in growing has not proved much and I am a complete novice at it all.

I have, like I said, joined a few communities, ordered some recommended books and subscribed to 'Grow your own' magazine in the hope of actually getting some decent vegetables out of this.

Main thing is really, that I wanted it for the kids.

I want them to get stuck right in with it all and really embrace the whole thing with me. To learn about where food comes from, how we grow it and to enjoy eating it all too.

They are both very 'outdoorsy' anyway - what kid isn't? And love to get their wellies on and get dirty so I think we could do well! They loved going up yesterday to see our plot and exploring others....

Aim is to have one half of the plot for the kids to experiment with and to keep them entertained enough for me to have the other half for 'serious' veg growing.

I have a raised bed on order for them and will aim for easy things like strawberries (or whatever else may be seasonal) to start them off.

I have the job on my half of getting the soil ready for planting next year now. It is currently grassed over, but I'm hoping to go with the 'no-dig' method of lasagne gardening which will require us to go on lots of woodland walks to collect lots of 'brown matter' to layer up and create some lovely fertile ground to work with.

As you can tell, I'm slightly excited about this whole new adventure and can't wait to get stuck right in. I'm hoping to bore you all and blog the progress as we go!!!


  1. Well I am glad that Coombe has given you some inspiration! Well done on securing lottie and what a fabulous family past-time to have. I can't wait to see how things develop for you all. Thanks for linking up and sharing your lovely photos and dreams with Country Kids.

  2. We were on the list for an allotment, last time we asked, 2 years ago, we had approx a 24 year wait...get a grip I will be nearly 80 by then. We were hoping to turn some of this garden into food growing but its too stony so will need to go with raised beds. not heard of lasagna gardening so will need to read up on it.

  3. oh Fab! I would love to be able to 'grow-our-own' ... my tomato crop this year was Shameful.... I need to read up on this stuff first I think! Kerry x


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