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Archive for November, 2012

Why eat hay?

Sounds mad I know, and I am not even a vegan, so how did this happen?

It happened because we are so lucky to have purchased in 2011 a house with a ‘miniholding’ of one acre in Gloucestershire.  Children having left home, we searched for a smaller house with more land local to Stroud and we found this 1950s house with views to die for and a field. I have always dreamed of having a piece of land and finally in mid life I have some. It so exciting and I feel so lucky: I have to keep reminding myself that it belongs to me.

The original plan to grow trees for fuel went out of the window when I discovered we had by chance purchased a piece of unimproved Cotswold limestone grassland – an established hay meadow.  I also wanted a big kitchen garden, but with soil so thin here that digging is impossible I had to think of how to do it. I have long been a  no-digger and a raised-bedder, and I was remembering about having read Ruth Stout’s seminal book ‘No-work Gardening’ some time ago. I dug it out of my gardening library and ‘hey presto’ I  realised that this was what I was going to do.

I am going to record my progress in this blog. There is an exciting story to tell, involving bumper squash crops, wild flowers and an extremely rare species of cricket!

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