There isn’t a huge amount to report since the last update, it being wintery, cold and wet, but a few things have progressed: bulbs that were nestled under fruit bushes and in the courtyard beds are all pushing up strongly, giving us a much needed shot of encouragement that Spring will arrive, and Simon Hammett has done an excellent job of putting in some supports for summer fruiting raspberries – not an easy task given the stony and flinty subsoil!
Our next substantial job is to dig out a small pond (there was a liner left behind by the previous occupant), to encourage beneficial wildlife such as frogs, toads, and newts – toads are prolific slug eaters, and as such are hugely welcome in a vegetable garden. This will also provide a drinking place for our bees, as long as we put plenty of stones/logs in for them to land on.
The first seeds have been sown under glass – several varieties of tomato, some long thin sweet peppers, beetroots, lettuces and annual scabious. Its early days though, and we’ll be sowing regularly until May/June. We’re planning to sell little plants via the village shop, so do keep an eye out for them from March onwards..
The final bit of news is the purchase of a 5000litre water tank to capture rainwater from the roof of the shop – not only will this enable us to keep our running costs very low, but it will provide us with rainwater, which, with a pH of around 6.5, is slightly acidic, and preferred by most plants and soil organisms.