Monday, 31 October 2011

Roll on Next Spring

Well, thats it then, summertime is officially over - the clocks have been put back - and we head on in to a world of darkness for a few months - not so much time to spend in the garden, no popping to the allotment to do a few jobs in the evening - waiting for it to get light in the mornings - roll on next spring that's what I say

I have just finished reading a book called 'The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka.  It is about going against the face of conventional farming and vegetable gardening by growing things in a semi-wild state.
Most of the book is about Mr. Fukuoka's experiments with rice-growing in Japan in a non-traditional way, but it is his philosophy about simple living that interested me most, and his ideas about the random growing of vegetables using, what we would call 'permaculture' methods.  Using green manures, weeds and straw as mulches, randomly sowing seeds and letting the plants do their own thing - fascinating stuff, I will certainly be using quite a few of his ideas during the next growing season.  One of his theories is that insects walk in straight lines, so if you plant a straight row of veg, they will just walk along the row and munch the lot, whereas, if you sow haphazardly they will have trouble finding the next plant.  Simple idea, but effective, I would think.

As you can see, we haven't had any frosts yet, so the allotment garden is still going strong, and I am loathe to get rid of anything that is still showing plenty of colour.

And for a final picture I just had to show you my monster Purple Sprouting Broc plant
Come next spring there should be plenty of dinners to come out of this plant - if it survives through the winter, that is!


  1. I hate the clocks going back, there just never seems to be enough light until they go forward again. The book sounds interesting, lots of things seem to do better left to their own devices rather than interfering with them. That's one huge psb plant. Hope it's netted otherwise it will be easy pickings for any hungry pigeons.

  2. That PSB plant is certainly something to be proud of. I find PSB very hardy - mine even survived last Winter without any problems and went on to produce a good crop. This Fukuoka chappie sounds like the exact opposite of me, eh?

  3. I know what you mean about roll on next Spring. That book sounds interesting. I love the idea that insects walk in straight lines so we should confuse them by planting things a bit more haphazardly. That's kind of what I did with some of my seed sowing this year anyway, although I didn't realise I was working to a theory, more that I can't sow in a straight line and my germination was erratic!

  4. Elaine, I have this book in my pile to read. I have seen his methods used in a community garden near us. I was hoping to get back there for an update on how things worked out. Fascinating stuff. I must now go and read the book...
    I'm impressed by how much there still is in your allotment garden and looking so halthy.

  5. hello elaine,
    wow,your garden looks wonderful.and the purple broccoli is really gorgeous.
    have a wonderful week,

  6. One Straw Revolution is one of my fave books...I have read it several times. Your garden is looking fab!

  7. That sounds like a really interesting book. I was intrigued by a recent episode of River Cottage Veg which had a piece on a permaculture allotment plot here in Bristol. I have to say, it looked a right state, but so much of what he was saying made sense - using "weeds" with deep taproots to break up the soil for instance. It made me think I should find a good book on this kind of approach, so this was a timely post. Though I do still find that I prefer a slightly neater approach, albeit not all immaculate rows with naked soil in between. Some kind of half way house maybe...

  8. My plot is positively bare compared to yours! I did the last serious plotting yesterday and won't resume now until late winter or early spring. Flighty xx

  9. I love your garden! My allotment plot is pretty wild, more by accident than intention. Love the quote about the insects!! I've been wanting to find a book to read and am so glad I came across your blog tonight. Though I quite like the winter for cosy crafting, my boisterous 4 year old is not so appreciative of being stuck indoors; I think it's going to be tough without our long days outdoors.


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