A new start

Last year, we had a flat in Cheltenham with no outside space but we had an allotment that we had taken from an over grown mess to a productive vegetable garden.

The allotment was a complete joy; we got outdoors at every opportunity, exercised by digging it over and grew a lot of fantastic and tasty stuff to eat.  However, we soon found out that a greenhouse on the allotment was a big commitment in the spring and early summer.  We had to open the greenhouse every morning before work and close it up ever night.  The answer was simple move to house with a garden.

We were incredibly lucky to have found a house with a long back garden.  It also came with a small orchard area, two greenhouse and a shed with lights and power.  At the moment the garden has a small vegetable bed and 3 patches of grass.  There is a strawberry patch, a small asparagus bed and a few raspberry canes.

This year we are going to work the vegetable beds and dig up some of the grass for other beds.  I think we will have a 3 sisters bed and a few rows of potatoes.  We tried the 3 sister growing system for the first time last year.  It is a traditional South American permaculture system.  The bed is a mix of squashes, corn and beans that you grow in the same bed year after year adding more and more compost to the bed every year.

Last year we grew 5 sorts of squash and 2 sorts of climbing beans with the sweetcorn.  The squashes were great and yellow courgettes, yellow patty pan, pumpkins, butter nut squash and uchi kikuri onion squash.  The beans we grew for the seeds to dry were borlotti and csar, an interesting large white bean.  The csar runner beans have long stringless pods that can be eaten like any other runner bean. This bed worked really well until a fox or badger got in and ate every single ripe corn cob!



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