Monthly Archives: August 2013

The cupboard was bare…

I’m sure that to almost all reading this self-sufficiency and gardening are subjects close to your heart. It’s something I am always striving towards in any small way I can and am grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Home grown courgettes; possibly the only vegetable that is producing anything in my garden. August 2013

Home grown courgettes; possibly the only vegetable that is producing anything in my garden. August 2013

On Wednesday I found out that ‘the country’s cupboard was bare’ – if all of the harvest grown in Britain was stored and started to be eaten from January 1st we would have run out on Wednesday meaning the UK has to import over a third of the food we need, an increase on the amount of food that we had to import 1991 according to the NFU*

As the NFU has worked out these figures I don’t think it will include freshly picked, home grown, back garden food which shows that even so long after the the original ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign growing your own is still am important part of this Country’s ability to provide for it’s self.

The government last month announced that it is investing 160 million pounds in farming technology to help make Britain a “world leader”. I really hope that some thought has been given to sustainable methods and won’t just be ploughed into GMO’s, pesticides and fossil fuel hungry machines.

* The radio 4 report I heard on this did not give exact figures for the increase just that in 1991 Britain produced 3/4 of it’s own food and that this figure has now fallen to just 62%

Round beds

Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre Garden; August 2013

Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre Garden; August 2013

This bed is in the garden of the Visitor Centre in the Brecon Beacons and it struck me as an incredibly valuable growing space.

I could easily reach to the middle from the edge so guess it to be about 2.4 meters across. This bed was planted with herbs but could have easily fitted a wig-wam of beans, a squash plant, salad crops and some brassicas and with thought to the varieties used still remained a decorative focus for the garden.

A perfect one person, low maintainance vegetable garden.

The bed was in the middle of a average-ish sized garden (as far as I can tell, I certainly wouldn’t be happy with anything smaller but might be a little spoilt when it comes to garden size) with borders around the edge and lawn to enjoy the outdoors on.

Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre Garden; August 2013

Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre Garden; August 2013

 The round shape of the bed seemed to help the whole garden feel bigger than it was as it fitted so nicely into it with no harsher edges.

Bread on sticks, lunch on the Beacons and dinner on the beach – a few days away

The beginning of this month has been lovely – in spite of the heavy rain.

I have been on holiday and started this week, and a new month, with an evening spent with friends in the park cooking bread on sticks over our bucket BBQ’s and making ‘grass dolls’ as we didn’t have any corn, wheat or barley. This was to mark Lammas; another step closer to the end of the year. We chatted and cooked supper out and then played hide and seek in the dark – a treat in the longer days of the summer.

The view from the Brecon Beacons: August 2013

The view from the Brecon Beacons: August 2013

Then the next day I travelled up to Borth, stopping on the way to have lunch in the Brecon Beacons before carrying on to arrive in time for a paddle in the sea and a chance to lazy around watching the waves lap at the sand before back to a nearby camp site to cook dinner of pasta and cheese on a fire of drift wood.

Borth beach; August 2013

Borth beach; August 2013

Kite surfer; Borth beach August 2013

Kite surfer; Borth beach August 2013

Campsite BBQ; August 2013

Campsite BBQ; August 2013

A rainbow over the campsite after a sudden down pour; August 2013

A rainbow over the campsite after a sudden down pour; August 2013

The next day was spent at The Centre for Alternative Technology with time to call in on old neighbours before reaching home.

Giant sunflower on teh edge of one of the many organic vegetable beds; CAT August 2013

Giant sunflower on the edge of one of the many organic vegetable beds; CAT August 2013

Cord wood centre piece; CAT August 2012

Cord wood centre piece; CAT August 2012

Centre for Alternative Technology; August 2013

Centre for Alternative Technology; August 2013