Sowing seeds with a toddler

Ever since my oldest son was born, I’ve always tried to interest him in the outdoor world. We go for walks whatever the weather, we look at trees and plants and birds and investigate animal holes and tracks and calls. We also mess about in the garden, and he’s joined me in the garden since […]

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Flying the coop: creating a free range chicken enclosure

Since our chickens joined us here on the smallholding a week ago we’ve developed a lovely routine whereby we go and check for eggs every day. Nothing can make our little boy beam like finding an egg that he can pluck out of the nest box and pop into his little egg basket to bear […]

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Adopting ex-battery chickens (or re-homing hens!)

Today we made a start on re-stocking our little smallholding with that most versatile of creatures, the chicken. Or rather, four chickens (despite the ardent lobbying of the toddler son who for some reason had the figure of twenty stuck firmly in his head). We had decided to offer a genteel home county retirement to some […]

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Review of 2017: garden successes and failures

I’ve learnt a lot about gardening this year. I’ve filled my 44 hanging and wall baskets to bursting, as well as my four raised beds. Some things have worked well (I’ve grown more than £150 of organic produce and haven’t bought tomatoes all summer!) and some less well (one measly squash from six plants?). So […]

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Recipe: Warming spicy squash and lentil soup

We recently harvested our Crown Prince squash. I really enjoyed growing the squashes and pumpkins vertically and I was pleasantly surprised by how well they climbed but I do wonder if the fact that they were growing up rather than out was responsible for their poor crop. That or lack of pollination perhaps? Because I […]

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Give that pumpkin the best seat in the house!

Pumpkin before I’ve been generally pleased by the way that the pumpkins have grown vertically on a cane support in the garden. They actually haven’t fruited that much but that appears to have been down to poor pollination as I’ve had loads of tiny pumpkins develop and simply rot on the vine. Our tiny urban […]

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Recipe: Healthy lemony basil pesto pasta with courgette and broccoli

This is a really easy and tasty seasonal dish using home grown basil from the garden that I often make when I”m short of time. We are ardent carnivores but tend to eat vegetarian food during the week and this dish is absolutely delicious. We eat unholy amounts of garlic and so that sauce packs […]

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