Offgrid Living Ireland  from Dogs & Coe

Back up the garden path

We live in West Limerick in a little hamlet that sits on a pretty hill over looking the most beautiful countryside – well I am of course biased

We have about 2 acres of land that was very wet and damp when we landed 5 years ago. Full of marsh grass and stones, uneven and muddy from years of cows and horses grazing and trampling it. In this rural area – see an empty field – see an opportunity to feed the livestock, until of course somebody like us buys the land.

Anyway I digress – we have of course attempted and partially succeeded to grow some of our own food before but it didn’t last too long if I am honest.

Why? Because it is hard and time consuming and requires single mindedness and with a wife that Hates soil and insects with a vengeance the Hubby was working fulltime, finishing off a new house and trying to bring change to 2 acres of land all by himself. In the end something had to give and so the veggies took the back seat and the nettles took over.

I wanted the fruit and veg of course I did but I certainly didn’t want to join in. I could always manage to find something else I wanted to do more. I am in awe of those that can dig, and plant and prune but honestly, see an insect and I am off. Now that’s not a great admission for one half of a partnership that ditched the rat race for a simpler life, growing and living off the land. Goal for this year then is to do better. do more, put my wellies on and give it a go – well we shall see.

Anyway given the issues we are all facing at the moment, Simon has gone back inside his polytunnel with a renewed focus. To get us back to where we planned to be – feeding ourselves.

Now Simon has always been a tryer of new things over the years – some good and some bad, so it comes as no surprise to me that we are back with the Hugelkultur plan.

Raised beds we found over the years are the best as the earth here is stony, hard and claylike so beds where the soil content could be controlled proved to be quite successful for us. Hugelkultur however has really been a eyeopener, with the forestry surrounding our land providing a wealth of rotten wood and other organic matter we need less of our own soil and all of the branches and fallen trees can be layered on top of each other and once rotted down create a very rich environment to grow the plants in. Last year Simon grew potatoes this way but this year he is going to try to grow so much more this way apparently.

I am going to try and keep a log of the exploits in the garden this year, both good and bad and once we have something to show for the work, I will be able to update with pictures of our hopefully plentiful supply of potatoes and well whatever else Simon has planted. I guess I had better go and ask exactly what that might be.

Hope you are thinking of planting some of your own veggies too and looking forward to a bumper crop, perhaps you have used hügelkultur also and have some tips, if so please let us know as we need all the help we can get.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.