The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Biodynamic gardening update. One year on.

Posted in General care, Pests and Diseases | 7 comments

Biodynamic gardening update. One year on.

  I’m continuing to practice biodynamic principles this year. Last year, when I followed the planting and harvesting days religiously, I had great results. Good strong plants, more disease resistance and better harvests. With the exception of battling with cabbage white fly that nearly decimated the Sutherland kale*. I tried to save our crop but in the end just threw it out. Didn’t want to ingest the horrid infestation. Too small to be considered added protein. Last autumn I armed myself with yards of insect netting – bought in the...

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How to grow the best potatoes

Posted in Vegetables | 5 comments

How to grow the best potatoes

Up until this year we’ve always been a bit disappointed with our home grown spuds – flavour is always good but the harvests have been poor. We thought that we were giving them the correct TLC but clearly we were going very wrong somewhere. Having been laid up for the past year I had time to research in depth the ways to give potatoes the best possible chance. And I’m delighted to report that I’ve grown fabulous spuds this year. Each plant giving on average 2-3 kilos. We have 40 plants in the kitchen garden borders (not counting the...

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Biodynamic gardening update: July 2010

Posted in Fruit, General care, Pests and Diseases, Vegetables | 19 comments

Biodynamic gardening update: July 2010

  “It’s nearly the end of July. Surely there’s something we can eat from the garden?” Danny was exasperated – forgetting that we have already munched loads from the garden in the past few months. Spuds, orach (German Mountain spinach), calabrese, turnips, broad beans, raspberries, strawberries, tayberries, loganberries, peas, lettuces and salad leaves. But then I twigged that he’s desperate to start harvesting his favourite.  Runner beans. They are a bit late this year but a careful examination of the beans revealed that they...

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Biodynamic gardening update: the importance of harvesting on the correct day

Posted in General care | 13 comments

Biodynamic gardening update: the importance of harvesting on the correct day

  “It’s amazing. I don’t care if everyone thinks we are mad. By gardening this way we will be growing food with the best flavour.” “Do you think that I should mention our tests on the blog?” “Definitely. These are not laboratory tests but they have convinced me. Surely everyone would be interested in growing food that tastes better.” Danny had just done a blind tasting on some biodynamic flat leaf parsley that I’ve grown this year and some French flat leaf parsley that was already growing in the herb bath. They looked...

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