The secret to a good compost heap

There are lots of ways of making a compost heap. Some gardeners have a sort of wire netting barrel, others have wooden ‘boxes’ and there are of course the Dalek type plastic bins with a little door at the bottom. You can, of course, just make a heap in the corner of the allotment and leave nature to deal with it eventually. They all seem to work. A lot depends on on how much room you have, what materials you have lying around and how quick you need it to rot down.

Plotholder focus: Hattie and Jenny

Mother and daughter, Jenny and Hattie both have plots on Craven Vale – Jenny for 11 years and Hattie for six. They also collaborate on a third plot, which they were able to take on four years ago. All three plots have needed intensive work, including clearing brambles, removing glass, getting rid of rubbish, building raised beds and preparing the ground.

Plotholder focus: Mary

Mary, or ‘Mary Muck’ as she’s affectionately known, has had a plot on Craven Vale since March 2019, after a long, five years on the waiting list. Living in a flat without a garden, she couldn’t wait to get her own outdoor space and get stuck in to growing organic, fresh and flavoursome food, as well as cutting down on wasteful ‘food miles’.

Ten years on from planting an edible hedgerow

When I first took on my plot 11 years ago, I was worried about how exposed the site was, so my first priority was a to plant a windbreak around my boundaries to protect my growing crops. Rather than just planting the usual mix of native hedgerow plants, I thought – why not get something edible out of it too?