The question (480)

by Max Akroyd

That’s almost all the garden planned for 2010. But there are some other areas to consider. The biggest unkown is the Herb Garden which, at present, is merely a large L-shaped area of lawn under mulch at the entrance to the field. We’re determined to create a space dedicated to these beautiful plants but we’re still gathering resources of seeds and plants…

The greenhouse and polytunnel will fill themselves by default with the best seedlings I can muster: tomatoes and aubergines in the former, chillies in the latter. There is also a large area in the piglet field which has been turned over by snout but not by hand. I intend to rake this out, once the rain stops, mulch it and, later in the season, create there the mother of all pumpkin patches.

All this planning is all well and good, but one real question remains: can these acres feed our family of six which, around late June, will become seven?

Watch this space!



There was a moment yesterday when I was digging on the field: I stopped for a breather and looked around and saw my animals on the hillside with me. The goats were nibbling at the brambles, the big pig was turning over soil in the lower beds and the dogs were chasing each other around in the Rough. Under the watery winter sun there was a subtle but distinct feeling of unity among us: that, whatever our motivations, these mammals were joined in the same venture. Moments like that make that make the muddy boots, mucking out and the multitude of other minor miseries very worthwhile.

Today is a slightly different proposition. The weather forecast says 70 km/h winds and averses de grêle for this afternoon. I have grain to collect for the animals and a dodgy fan belt on the car. In these circumstances, gardening feels a remote possibility…