In 2018, my friend Peter Richardson (Stroud Films) helped me make some videos of my garden at Tin Bath House. The idea was to show what it looks like in the summer, as people who come to visit at other times miss out on the sense of abundance and productive greenness. As it happened, 2018 was a drought summer season so everything was quite a struggle and lots of plants suffered water stress. We battled with the dryness and the wind and turned out three little videos which illustrate what I do here.
The video which has captured people’s attention has turned out to be the one about growing carrots in containers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8Y-CxU5VVk&t=99s I decided to make this video as visitors are always intrigued by the way I churn out carrots successfully from old water tanks (containing soil, not water). I devised this method because we have such thin soil here, that even in raised beds, growing good carrots is a challenge and the very stony soil leads to them growing in a forked fashion. Disused water tanks was not an original idea of mine – I saw it in Permaculture Magazine. The containers must have drainage holes in their bottom and then they are filled with sieved soil and homemade compost.
I have been teaching gardening for 25 years and I regard successful seed sowing as one of a gardener’s key skills. I have been asked so many different questions about it over the years and what I did in this video was to put together all those tiny details which make for a successful technique. Many people find carrots hard to grow – if you seeds are just sewn randomly, it is not likely to work. Getting each step in seed sowing right will make for good germination of the carrot seed. And this video is the definitive guide which has now been watched 30,000 people worldwide, so I hope that tonnes of carrots have been produced and enjoyed.
Even if you don’t have a garden, you could use this method to grow carrots in containers on a balcony or doorstep . If everyone grows just a little food, we shift the balance from us being consumers to being producers and weaken our dependence on complex food supply chains.