Learning

  • Flowers, apples, artichokes and other lessons from 2017 33 comments

    Growing is endlessly fascinating as there’s always more to learn. As winter approaches, it's a good time to reflect on the successes and learning of the season. Here are five (of the many!) things I learnt in 2017. This year, I grew more flowers. In amongst the salads, herbs and fruits, I planted cosmos, verbena, along [...]

  • My experimental container garden (and front yard larder!) 40 comments

    What can you grow to eat in containers on a concrete, north facing (and windy) front yard? I’ll be finding out at my new (ish) home, in Newcastle, North England. And blogging here about what grows (and what doesn’t), how me and my family eat it, the rewards and challenges - and how it changes the way we eat and [...]

  • Four ways city growers can help save our rich seed diversity 14 comments

    In the last 100 years, 80% of the crop varieties in Europe - 75% in the World - have been lost. This is huge: we need a rich diversity of crop varieties for our future. Not just for the wonderful stories and diversity of flavours that each variety brings, but also for the genetic variety. [...]

  • Why its great when things don’t work out 46 comments

    Do you sometimes look at all those images of lush containers on Pinterest and Facebook and wonder why your own containers are, um, not quite so perfect? Of course, unlike on Pinterest, in the real world, lettuces DO (almost always) get eaten by slugs, seeds DO often fail to germinate, and tomatoes DO regularly get [...]

  • How to grow the best salads at the lowest cost 12 comments

    Good quality, fresh salad is expensive. The good news is that you can grow even higher quality, better flavoured salad at home in containers - all for a tiny fraction of the price (if you use recycled materials, almost free!). And by growing it at home, you can pick it fresh whenever you want it. Salad [...]

  • How much food can you grow in pots? 16 comments

    To show that it's possible to grow lots of food - even if you don't have a garden - I've been measuring the weight and value of the food grown in containers in our small concrete back yard in Newcastle, UK, from 1 May to 31 October this year. This continues the experiments I did [...]