As part of our ‘Get growing Great Lever’ project we have been providing local community members with growing kits and advice about food cultivation, some of our gardeners are complete novices and some have a fair amount of experience, the family we are working with at the moment have experience of food growing in their native Bangladesh, so have needed little help from us other than supplying them with seeds, a small greenhouse and compost. In less than twelve months this family have converted a large corner house Council house garden from a small overground woodland into a diverse and interesting growing space.
Old School Permaculture
One of the things that really interests me about this families approach to food growing and is no doubt tied into their agrarian background is that much of the way they work resonates with permaculture, during the summer their salad crops were grown closest to the house, followed by potatoes, Brassica and onions, with a micro forest garden at the rear end of the garden so as not to steal light and nutrients from their annual vegetable crops. The way some of the crops are used is also worth noting in these financially dire times that we are in, when this family grow onions and garlic, they are harvested regularly for the shoots as opposed to their bulbs, they can be harvested all through the winter and into the spring giving the grower more usable food from the plant than the bulbs would provide.