The Newhouse Farm Garden
When we moved to Cornwall, we decided that we wanted to follow permaculture processes as much as possible, but that involves getting to know your surroundings and slowly planning what will work and evolve over time. So despite subscribing to the principles, we launched into some pretty basic market gardening straight away which allowed us to get salad and vegetables on the table quickly.
Some of the things we do?
The greenhouse was built against a south facing wall and we built our own heating system to keep it frost free. It worked - salads, tomatoes peepers and aubergines survived and were available through to February.
We bought a very cheap polytunnel frame and some new plastic to increase our productivity by lengthening our growing season. A pond in the polytunnel keeps the temperature up and provides a habitat for frogs that keep the slugs and snails down.
Our geodesic dome will be unveiled in programme 5 of the latest series of 'Its not easy being green'. We love it. James has set up the hydroponics in it and in the evening when it is lit to extend the growing period it looks positively space age. We were using a prototype but the production versions are now available - check out the Grow-Dome website.
Crop rotation is essential as some families of plants are more prone to particular diseases and have particular pests that prey on them, and different families also need different nutrients. So, by moving the crops from plot to plot you can give them a better chance to establish a strong foothold before any problems start and at the same time the soil gets the chance to replenish itself. We found lots of conflicting advice so devised our own by taking information from lots of different sources.
We compost and feed our worms on our organic waste (not cooked food). Our wormery of choice comes from Bubblehouse Worms. You may think choosing a wormery would be easy, but Bubblehouse are one of the few that use recycled plastic and breed their worms in Worcestershire rather that importing from Eastern Europe!
And a small holding needs some livestock and we currently have an assortment of hens, ducks, geese, turkeys and pigs. We even have some bees!