Archive for 2013

  • Learning to cultivate mushrooms

    mushroom logToday my youngest son Oli and I spent the day up at School Farm in Dartington learning how to cultivate mushrooms with Adam and Eric of Fungi Futures on their popular Home Grower course.

    The day began with Adam showing us around their growing set up, with a peek into their inoculation room and some of the containers where they evolve the spores. We were then given an introduction to the day outlining what we’d be doing during the event, as well as gaining a deeper understanding all about mushrooms from how they live through to how to cultivate and how to produce, as well as the attendees of the day sharing our motivations for attending the course. I confessed that I wasn’t originally a big fan of the taste of mushrooms but learning to like them much more now, with thanks to being inspired from testing out one of their Grow Kits recently, and that all mushrooms don’t taste the same! There were six of us altogether, all with different interests in growing mushrooms, including Nigel who is a hobby beekeeper and lives in the New Forest, Alison and Paul both from the New Forest too, who enjoy foraging for mushrooms, and Kieron from Bristol who makes wooden planters in his spare time, along with Oli and I.

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  • No dig beds

    • Manure added

    • Mulching the paths

    • No dig beds

    After what felt like a long time clearing the space for the new no dig beds on the allotment, I’m pleased (and so is my back!) that two of the beds are now fully made. My main veg ‘patch’ consists of one big rectangle, and within will contain four 8ft by 4ft beds, with 1ft paths around the edge and 2ft paths across the middle cross sections.
    Ideally this preparation would have been completed during autumn or winter or at latest early spring, but alas, I only got the allotment in February, and progress was rather slow initially due to the weather. But with the recent spell of bright and sunny weather, it enabled me to speed up the process more. The full area is now cleared of turf, and (hopefully!) most of the dock, dandelion and creeping buttercup dug out and masses of stone and rubble are now removed too. Much of the area had to be double dug, something of which I’m not planning to repeat in the future, as aiming to explore Charles Dowdings’ approach with No Dig growing for the vegetable beds.

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