I think the winter slump is finally coming to an end. Spring is properly here and I want to share with you all the work I’ve been doing over the last few weeks but unable to share so far.
As I think I’ve mentioned before, one of my goals with my garden is to grow as much of my own food as possible, and if 2020 has taught me anything it’s that being at least partially self-sufficient is generally a pretty good thing to aim for.
So, what are my plans for this garden? Well, most of them are covered in the video, but just because I love talking about this I want to share the five big aims I’m going to do my best to achieve:
1. Quail Enclosure:
I’ve put so much research into this it’s a little insane. The idea is to have a large walk-in enclosure full of beneficial plants which help them feel safe and keep them fed with edible grains, bushes and plants. Barley, rye, wheat, tiger nuts, oats, and slender lespediza are the main varieties I’ll be growing. Their water system will be using water water nipples (a small nozzle they tap at to drink) that will be constantly supplied by a very large water butt. This means they’ll always have a constant supply of water without an open dish or pond that can get stagnant and revolting. It also means that I don’t have to remember to water them since there’s always a supply.
There will be an ash pit for them to roll in (excellent for their feather health and avoiding red mite) a ground open compost system and a black fly farm to give them a constant supply of protein and food along with regular quail feed that I’ll supplement with. The aim is to create a habitat for them which is perfect, extremely efficient, and gives them the best life they can have while being as little work for me to maintain as possible.
I’ll be growing three kinds, Shiitake, pink oyster and wine cap. There’s so much to cover here I’ll wait until they’re all set up and working before I talk about it. Otherwise I’ll be here all day writing whole essays on them.
3. Food wall:
One of the reasons why my veggie garden is so small in comparison to the rest of the garden is because I want to show just how much food you can grow in a small space. I think a lot of people can see these enormous homesteads and gardens online which are 9-10 times the size of the average uk garden and they get disheartened because that kind of land size is impossible in the uk unless you’re absolutely minted. We were so lucky, the only reason we have a garden the size we do is because it’s right next to a main road, the house needed a LOT of work on it and the sellers wanted a quick sale. So with that in mind I’ve deliberately kept my food garden to a small size.
This is where the food wall comes into play. Using a series of gutters mounted onto the fence you can grow so many foods like strawberries, leafy greens and salad mixes in an area that would otherwise be wasted. I’m still figuring out how to make it self watering (or at least very easy to water) but since that’s realistically not going to fit in the budget till winter, at least I have a lot of time to think about it.
You’ve seen the apple trees that are already planted, but there’s still space for four more – one on each side of the current trees. The plan is to grow a cherry, plum, pear and a fourth tree all in that espalier style to make them as efficient, space-saving and easy to maintain as possible.
Phew….yea, I don’t like taking on small projects, do I.