The Garden is an escape… when we are there it’s like everything else falls away, we focus only on hands into earth, smiling because we know we are producing our own healthful nourishment and returning home with dirty fingernails and clean minds…
Our 1/8th of an acre allotment in North Yorkshire was acquired in early April in ‘a bit of a mess’ but it came with two greenhouses, a polytunnel and A LOT of raspberries. We couldn’t resist. The bit of a mess was an understatement, but in truth – acquiring land that has been left untouched for a number of years is really no bad thing as it’s been left to itself; to soak up the goodness of the earth and expel any nasty chemicals that might have previously been used on it.
Our approach is to always work any patch we are looking after to a no-dig... minimum input, maximum output, approach. We imagine a forest, layered so that canopy over canopy self-delivers shade, water – company even… and to achieve this even with small plants we like to plant things together all overflowing and mismatched. I do read a lot of books about companion planting and forest gardening, but the truth is that when it comes down to it, we’re pretty slapdash gardeners tending to just shove it all in and hope for the best.
Well, today the best came… after several weeks in the South of England hanging out at our caravan, we returned wondering what casualties there might be. Prior to leaving there had been a mad rush to get the last of our lovingly-raised seedlings into the 3 no-dig (cardboard layered straight onto the land and covered with thick layers of compost and woodchips) beds we had managed to cobble together amidst our overgrown paradise and I have to admit, I figured that without the diligent watering and spraying/deterring measures we had noted our neighbouring gardeners doing, there would be a lot of dried up plants and pest damage. BUT! Everything was flourishing and our animal friends had happily munched on some areas of decoy leaves as well as our sacrificial garden set up for this purpose solely. I know people may laugh but seriously – treat those we share the land with, with love, and we believe all good things will come for all.
Dinner tonight included a humungous salad of rocket, amaranth (callaloo) leaves and 3 varieties of kale… and it was amazing.
Ultimately our garden must always require minimal digging/weeding/watering, as our gypsy souls cannot be trusted… so far so good!
Sometimes I write an article for a magazine that really leaves me with a warm glow inside... Plants Are Magic is one such magazine.
Filled with inspiration for greater connection to the earth, you will find articles from artisans the world over so I was thrilled when Editor, Rebecca Desnos, asked me to write about the story behind my handcrafted family business Little Loquat.
My article 'Beauty in Nature' appeared in an issue focused on local and you can read it by clicking the image above.
My poem, This Gentle Earth, is featured on the lovely Vegan Life Magazine website.
The thoughts behind my words were about how we can all start making a change in the world simply by finding compassion for each living being... I hope you enjoy it.
You can also hear me reading this poem over on my YouTube Channel.
“Only when we have become non-violent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves,”
~ Cesar Chavez
My youtube channel where I will be sharing readings of my poetry and short stories.
I was thrilled to have one of my poems 'It Started with an Ant' featured in the August 2017 VIVA! Podcast. You can listen right here. My poem is 16 minutes in, but of course I'd rather you listen to the whole show ;-)
As a vegan family we are passionate about spreading the message of kindness to all animals but sometimes it’s hard to know how best to do this. After some thought I realised that my voice is through my writing and so, I decided to write a short collection of poems that reflect my own journey from meat eater, to vegetarian, to vegan. Each of the five poems reflect the questions I have pondered myself on my own journey and I hope they will resonate with anyone pondering their own eating habits with regards to animals.
VIVA! or Vegetarians' International Voice for Animals, is a British animal rights group, which focuses on promoting veganism. They do amazing and very important work that highlights the truth behind what really goes on in the animal farming industry.
“The most powerful action you can take to end animal suffering, protect the environment and improve your health is to go vegan. Support us and help Viva! campaign for a better world.” ~ Juliet Gellatley, VIVA! Founder.
I’m excited to announce that my family busienss, Little Loquat, will be sharing studio/shop space with the lovely Alissa of Forest & Folk Botanicals for the next couple of months at the beautiful and inspirational Milton Keynes Arts Centre, Parklands, Milton Keynes.
If you are local we invite you to stop by on Thursdays/Saturdays to see what we’re making as well as pick up all things plant-based from Alissa, including all your shampoo, conditioner, washing-up and washing liquid eco refills in support of Zero Waste.
Here I like to muse about life, share news of writing projects & wanderings, and showcase nature-inspired jewellery & gifts from my family micro-business, Little Loquat.