I love the allotment garden in Winter. I go down every day to feed the chickens, collect eggs and gather winter greens to eat or juice and always enjoy the feeling of quiet hibernation in the garden. It’s the only time of year that I feel as if I’m on top of things! Of course there are still jobs to do and the over-winter crops to care for, but there isn’t the fabulously frenzied planting of Spring, the constant tending of Summer and the busy harvesting, storing and preserving of Autumn.
I think this is my favourite time of year! Sitting around the kitchen table with my family, chatting about what everyone wants to grow in the garden….perfect. So here we are. We’ve pretty much decided on our planting plans for the allotment garden 2015 – lots of old favourites and some very exciting newbies. We saved loads of seeds from last years crops and still have many left over that we bought, so we are in fact buying very few this year, which is brilliant when you’re on a budget and exactly what being self-sufficient is all about.
As many of you will know, we garden organically, but have also been experimenting with biodynamic gardening techniques for many years. If you’re not familiar with the concept you can read a post about it here. Our seeds come from a biodynamic company called Stormy Hall, but if they don’t have what we’re looking for then we use Tamar Organics or the Organic Seed Company. All excellent suppliers and their details are here.
We group our plants into 4 categories – leaf, flower, fruit and root, similar to regular plant groups, but with a biodynamic twist! We have 9 raised beds on our allotment (including 2 new ones for 2015) and every year we rotate our crops for the health of the soil. We’re also great fans of companion planting, so you’ll see lots of herbs and flowers in our crop lists. So here goes……