Sunday, February 7, 2010

Take a deep breath...

...and off we go... blog some of the stories about our new garden in Co. Offaly, Ireland.

"The Orchard"
At the very least we will try to grow our own, organic, vegetables and fruit, and try to make the most out of them (jams, chutneys, preserves and perhaps even some booze). We may invest in a few new faces as well - we hope some hens will join us, and bees and pigs have been talked about. We're not expecting to become fully self-sufficient (nor are we going to try), but we hope to produce some of our own food in as environmentally responsible a way as possible. Whatever else, we hope it will make us healthier and happier.

"The Meadow"
We're not totally new to this: we've been growing our own organic veg and fruit for a few years now, albeit on a small scale. We have backgrounds in the environmental and food sectors, and we both grew up on farms. However, that's pretty much it. We'll make mistakes, face disappointments, argue, curse and possibly even swear. We may throw things and perhaps shout abuse at inanimate objects. For us, we hope this blog will force us to reflect on what we're doing, learn from our mistakes, and look back and laugh. Any suggestions or comments on what we’re doing would, or course, be welcome.

"Out Front"

Our new plot is just over one acre. “Out front” is a series of hard landscaped beds filled with ornamental shrubs – not necessarily our cup of tea, but we haven’t figured out what to do with them yet. Most of the rest of the garden is rough, rank and, what appears to be rather damp, grassland. This is (kind of) split into three areas: the orchard (which has the septic tank in the middle and where we may plant some fruit trees), the meadow (which faces south and where we will put in our raised veg beds, possibly a poly-tunnel and keep a bit of a lawn, and where the well for the house is situated) and the piggery (which is parallel to the meadow, surrounded by trees and also where we haven’t decided what to do yet; a piggery has been suggested, hence this working title). The house itself is surrounded by some raised beds full of herbs, which we’ll keep, and decking, where we’ll have lots of pots of stuff for the time being.

"The Piggery"
Our plan for 2010 is to put in two raised veg beds (which we’ll double dig); one for beans and peas, the other for brassicas. We’re going to try to get the lawn under some sort of control (not something we’ve had any success with in the past, so wish us luck) and possibly plant some apple trees. Hens are a definite possibility depending upon how things go in the spring. We'll start small – an ark with perhaps four birds – but this will be a fairly big adventure for us both: only one of us has ever kept hens before, and that was when they were six years old! A poly-tunnel may appear towards the end of the year depending upon time and finances. Most of the gardening year, however, is probably going to be taken up with tidying up, clearing stuff away and making the garden our garden.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, what a lovely piece of land you have there, a lovely blank canvas. Best of luck with it, and enjoy. Look forward to seeing your progress.