Monday, 1 August 2011

Too good an opportunity...

Well, I presume most of you have heard of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. He's the crazy celebrity chef, slash grow your owner who campaigned for us all to eat free range meat. Got it?

Well, another one of his campaigns was called Landshare. A relatively straight forward campaign where people with spare land allow potential growers to work it and grow and produce their own food. We have visited the Landshare website sparingly since it started out, however a couple of months ago it appeared that somebody in our area had land to share.

More research and contact lead to us discovering that in fact an individual didn't have land to share. The icon on the map was actually an organisation called 'Transistion Stratford' who were trying to regenerate Stratford Upon Avon. They run not a landshare but a garden share scheme. We would have been keen on a plot in Stratford, but after talking to some of the people involved they let me know of a potential plot in Alcester, and only ten minutes walk away too.

So on Friday evening we visited the house for the first time, and  weinstantly fell in love with the garden that we could potentially get to grow some veg in. The garden is centred around 3 long raised beds, so all we needed to do was clear the area.

Well, after falling in love with the potential of the plot, the agreement was signed up, and I started the clear up process today!

Here is the classic 'Before' picture...

Hopefully this time next week we can show you some 'After' pictures. We are going to be using the raised bed in the middle to grow spring cabbage, leeks and some other brassicas, and some hardy salads too. The raised beds on the right and left will be covered with some old carpet ready for next year's main growing season.

It's not in a massive state, it's just overgrown with weeds, most will pull out easily...

Not only does the garden have 3 assembled raised beds, but it also has compost bins, sheds, an outside toilet, electric hook up, a tap. All which we will be able to use. Here are the compost bins...

Not only is it a great place to grow veg, but there are also chickens. They are not the house owner's chickens they belong to the next door neighbour, because ironically they are having problems with introductions. The great news for us is that the house owner said we could keep some hens their too. It's definately something that we can discuss further. Here are the current two resident hens...

Our minds are brimming with ideas. There is so much potential with this area of land, and we are greatful to the house owner and the team at Transistion Stratford for making this all work.

We'll be posting some more about the plot over the next week and beyond. We'll also take a look inside the beehive this week via another... video!

Before, we go we'd like to thank everybody who has entered the contest already! Thank you, and keep them coming for those of you who haven't entered yet. There are some great prizes to be had!

Thanks for reading our blog. We really appreciate it.

Martin and Amy x


  1. Martin and Amy-What a fantastic opportunity for you both. Can't wait to see the photos as you progress.

    Can I ask a stupid question M & A: We have some Pak Choi seeds (I think that's how you spell it)-have you grown these? What can you cook them with?

    Sft x

  2. What absolutely brilliant news - and what a fantastic garden. My goodness, you must feel that all your Christmasses have come at once.

    What a perfect garden. And a loo too!

  3. Hi Sft,

    Thanks for visiting again, we are so excited about this garden share.

    Regards pak choi, we wrote a blog post a couple of months ago about how we specifically had little luck with growing pak choi. The plants bolted, but we still ate the leaves in a stir fry and they were delicious. The reason why they bolted was probably because it was too hot and too dry. I recon if you sow some now you will have a better chance of getting some mature veg.

    Pak choi itself is delicous, especially in a stir fry or an oriental salad. Plant those seeds immediately, you've got nothing to lose and plenty to gain!

    Good luck!

    Martin :0)

  4. Thanks lottie!

    It definately felt like that! :0)

  5. That is soooo exciting!!!! What a wonderful garden to call your own! Love the look of that compost heap too, it's so pretty! I've had mice and a snake or two! in nine before so hubby forbids open compost heaps for me :( Resorted to worm farms instead. Prefer the open compost by far though!

  6. Wow...what a brilliant opportunity. I'm sure you will make fantastic use of the space. Can't wait to follow your progress.

    Sue xx

  7. Fantastic news, how exciting for you both :-) Looking forward to seeing the progress, it certainly looks like a potentially great plot with everything you need already there. Fab!!

  8. Excellent news! Congratulations :)
    I'm waaaay behind on Blog reading, sorry.
    Hope it all goes well for you, Mo

  9. Fantastic opportunity, good luck with it all!

  10. Congratulations M&A, that sounds perfect! Hope it all goes well for you and for the people who's garden you are using. I'm looking forward to reading about your progress.


Thankyou for taking the time to visit our blog! Please leave a comment we love reading every single one of them!