Winter in the kitchen garden: planting a future

The arrival of winter should surely herald hedgehog-like behaviour in all of us. We no longer shuttle too and fro from the kitchen garden to the house laden with gluts that we don’t know how to process fast enough, but rather wish to laze by the fire with a good book. Most flowers fade and […]

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Smallholding services and infrastructure

“That has to be the world’s most boring way to spend £10,000” remarked my husband after we were given the terrifyingly expensive quote to replace our clapped out septic tank with a shiny new sewage treatment system. He was right, and it got me thinking about all of the other things we spend money on […]

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Once you cluck, you can’t stop: new hens!

Keeping chickens has been something of a revelation. Who knew how seamlessly they’d fit into our lives? But now, a little under a year since we got our poor first brood, they’re just a happy part of our daily existence. Last year a survey showed that hens were the sixth most popular pet kept in […]

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Picking flowers for the cutting garden

I feel incredibly spoiled in saying this given how lucky I am to have all of our growing space, but I am sometimes paralysed by indecision when it comes to growing. Coming from a tiny terraced garden where I had so little space, I’m slightly overwhelmed by the amount of potential I have here. I […]

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Sweetcorn for sweet teeth

Most edible things that are to be cooked taste better when they’re somewhat caramelised. Meat, onions, garlic, they’re all improved once the sugars inside have been slightly toasted, and sweetcorn is no exception. Ah, sweetcorn, where have you been all my life? Silly question really because the answer is obviously “in the freezer” but that […]

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Showing at the village show

I might have been forgiven for thinking, before we moved out of London, that the real village show (not to be confused with the village fete of course) was a thing of the past. Trestle tables laden with prize vegetables set out in the village hall, handwritten certificates for the best flowers, sideways glances exchanged […]

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Gardener’s guide to gluts: Blackberries

I have fond recollections of foraging for blackberries with my maternal grandparents. They lived close to the coast and I remember wandering about in wellies, my fingers purple with the juice of the blackberries my sister and I ate as fast as the others could collect. We’d happily brave the thorns for the delicious berries […]

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