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 […]

Read More

Companion planting: carrots and spring onions

As our whole garden has all but been removed, I’ve started the really rather enjoyable job of planning next year’s growing, albeit a bit earlier than I usually would. And one thing that I’ll definitely be doing again is companion planting spring onions in amongst my carrots. The RHS recently released trial information on carrot […]

Read More

Auditing the new orchard

When we planted our small orchard over the winter, we did so with no knowledge of how to do so. Luckily for us, the amazing Monty Don had made a short video on how to plant bare-rooted trees which we watched the morning we decided to make a start. It took us several weekends to […]

Read More

Getting our fruit trees FIG-ured out

You may remember that a couple of years ago I was utterly baffled by a little Brown Turkey fig that I grew in a small pot on my London patio. After a year of doing nothing interesting, this small but determined fig tree suddenly started to fruit over the winter and then promptly died for […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More