Tag Archives: farming

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%

Weekend working

This weekend was really good and productive for me, inspite of the weather forecast predicting rain and high winds it really wasn’t that bad during the day.

On Friday I got up late even though I’d plan to get up and start the day, over Christmas I got into the habit of not going to bed until late (or late for me) and sleeping in in the mornings. I have to sort it out though, even though I enjoy a lay in, I also enjoy getting up and spending the day doing things, even just little things, and it never really feels like I get much done if I have a lay in. Me and Rhys cleaned out a goat house, and the goat yard and then in the afternoon Little Miss Green from MyZeroWaste came to visit. She wants to be a farmer when she’s older but is too young to join the young farmers group; I remember I use to get so annoyed with being too young for things when I was her age. I would make up my mind that I wanted to do something, or learning something, find a way that I could and then be told I was too young when as far as I was concerned I was just as able, if not more so, then the ten year olds who didn’t really want to be there. Any way, we spent a nice afternoon with all the animals, went and milked the Primrose, bedded down all the chickens and cuddled the rabbits. 

On Saturday I got up late again and spent most of the afternoon in the veg garden clearing up. Someone from freecycle came and collected a couple of dozen bags of manure, which is good as where I’m planning on planting the sweetcorn is looking, er… big, tall, over flowing, all three really. (photo coming soon…)

I’m still waiting for my Mimi seed potato to arrive, they are a dwarf potato and I’d plan that if I grow them in the poly tunnel we could be eating home grown spuds for Easter, but it’s starting to get late for that so I planted some ‘Charlotte’ and another kind of red potato that I’d saved when our local Lild had a British special potatoes in. I stored then in a draw in layers of news paper and got them out the other day. Even though they’ve been in the dark they have started to chit nicely and aren’t looking light starved. The ones that I haven’t planted are in their draw on top of a book case now. The wind was starting to get up as it was getting dark, and then not long after it had got dark it poured it down.

It was fine by the next morning though; I got up earlier and spent some time in the garden again. There seems to be a lot of garlic coming through where I grow it last year, which isn’t too big an issue but I was going to grow it somewhere else as it had a little but of rust there last year. But it’s too much of a shame to move them now and they seem to be growing well enough.

At about lunch time it started to cloud over so I came in and made some Hob-Nob biscuits. It was the first time I’ve tried baking in the new Rayburn, to begin with it was far to cool and then I put to much wood on and I cooked the last tray with the door to the oven a jar and they still went a little black. Still tasted good.

CSA Meeting

This evening I went to a meeting about Community Supported Argiculture and the possiblity of setting something up locally. I hadn’t heard of CSA before but there is a very good one in Stroud which is quite local.

“There are many different ways a CSA can be set up .  It all depends on the decisions of the people forming the membership.   One way is for a group of people join together and form some sort of association.  They find some land and employ a grower to grow their veg.  So the income generated by the members pays for the land rent, wages and seeds etc.  In collaboration with the grower the members make the decisions about what they would like to have grown. It guarantees an income for the grower and food for the members.   In some CSAs around the country meat and poultry are also raised, and the farm has become a resource for the community having open days and harvest festivals when people can come and bring their children to get involved in seeing how food is grown and have some fun. 

The CSA s are very individual because each one is controlled by its’ members so they decide how they want to run it and what they would like to happen.”

A local farm has offered some land that could be used for something and I think it would be really nice to have be involved in a like minded group.

It was a really good meeting and I’ve put my name down to be on a steering group