The Forest Garden

Today, it being the first Sunday of the month, it was permaculture day. In other words, we took another trip to Old Sleningford Farm in North Yorkshire for the volunteer work day.

The first half of the day was spent planting fruit bushes in the forest garden. I have had a look around there before but actually working in it gave me a better feel for how such a place works. Some of the garden is well established with fruit trees over the fruit bushes and herbs and strawberries below that. Overall, the idea is that the land is made as productive as possible – and judging by the food that comes out of the garden for the preserves the farm makes, it certainly seems to working. And of course the insects must love it, too.

Anyway, aside from the planting, my daughter and I did a bit of exploring. She is starting to become more independent and wanted to go into the established area by herself. So, off she went… and found raspberries. There were however some she couldn’t reach, so this is where my longer arms came in, to pick some lovely juicy fruit off the higher canes.

I’m not sure how far I want a forest garden for us but I have worked out what I am going to do once I have moved the blackberry bush to the back of the garden. At the moment, the ground underneath it is weed-ridden and difficult to clear, so I am thinking of planting strawberries round the bush in its new position in order to eliminate this problem. Not sure where I can source strawberry plants at this time of year, so it looks like cardboard will be covering the ground till next spring. Off I go then on the quest for more boxes…..




©Helen Butt, November 2014


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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