Journal

Plant Profile: Jostaberry, Black Lace Elder - As the days finally become colder it’s worth taking stock of spaces in the garden or replacing small fruit shrubs that are no longer productive.  Every year I look at my fruit bushes at the end of the season, prune them, make a note of ones to be replaced and then curse myself the followingContinue reading "Plant Profile: Jostaberry, Black Lace Elder"
Sowing and Growing in September… - Earthed Up! focus on growing edible perennials and other useful plants. I like to mix up my perennial veg with annual plants and wildflowers too. I am developing ‘Polycultural’ beds in my garden that were first intended as annual veg beds. Polyculture simply means growing different plants together, rather than in a Monoculture. Currently IContinue reading "Sowing and Growing in September…"
Plant profile: Dyers Coreopsis - Earthed Up! grow edible and useful plants and we have a range of plants for dyeing fibres, such as perennials Madder and Dyers chamomile. The range also includes easy to grow plants such as Woad – a biennial giving blue colour, that can perennialise, and Dyer’s Coreopsis which is a hardy annual. You may knowContinue reading "Plant profile: Dyers Coreopsis"
Things that go jump in the night - I am on my nightly slug patrol, in the cool breeze after another hot day. My headtorch illuminating the slime trails. I pick some of those little pale slugs from under the pots of Good King Henry. They’re sprinkled with confetti from the neighbouring wild carrot flowers. There’s a giant orange-skirted slimer heading for theContinue reading "Things that go jump in the night"
Sharing our house - I’ve been to different corners of Derbyshire these last couple of days. From Wessington to Crich, Shottle, to Derby. We deliver SylvaGrow peat free compost within 10 miles of our base in Belper. While delivering, it’s obvious to me that our customers enjoy welcoming others to their gardens. Whether that’s someone delivering peat free compostContinue reading "Sharing our house"
Singin’ in the rain - For the past month or more, our main focus beyond plant growing and getting ready for markets has been constructing a massive compost bay. To house woodchip and manure that over time will become compost for mulching our outdoor beds. Also, to harvest gallons of rainwater from the bay roof! A long stretch of dryContinue reading "Singin’ in the rain"
The fun of fungi - I was asked today by a customer about some mushrooms that had appeared in their compost. They had bought Sylvagrow certified organic peat free compost. To fill new raised beds. They emailed us asking if we could deliver more. It’s nice to meet you and your gardens when delivering compost. On this occasion, we gotContinue reading "The fun of fungi"
The problem with packaging… - We are trying to find the most environmentally friendly way to sell plants, so avoiding single use plastics and going for re -use options wherever possible. So far we have set up a plant pot exchange at Belper Community Hall (Hooray!), which anyone can deposit or collect plant pots from. We hope to use asContinue reading "The problem with packaging…"
Perennial kale in garden January Plant profile: Perennial kale - Kale, the super food of millennials. Also popular with sheep. And rightly so! Kale is a nutritious green, packed with vitamins. It’s particularly high in vitamin C and quite fittingly vitamin K! Another super thing about kale is that it’s really easy to grow yourself. In my experience, all brassicas are easily grown from seed.Continue reading "Plant profile: Perennial kale"
Bath time - Why am I so excited about getting a new, old bath? Well, for one it’s 1980s turquoise! Moreover, it can hold litres and litres of… Worms! We have multiple ways of making compost, to make sure we have healthy soil, feeding healthy plants. It also helps cycle others’ waste. Worm composting aka vermicomposting creates rich,Continue reading "Bath time"
Plant profile: Minutina aka Erba Stella - Minutina is one of my new favourite edible perennials! It is apparently more popular and more widely known in Italy. Its latin name is Plantago coronopus. It is also known as Erba Stella and Bucks Horn Plantain. It is related to the plantains, such as Ribwort plantain and Greater Plantain. The wild plantains are alsoContinue reading "Plant profile: Minutina aka Erba Stella"
Compossibilities - With plentiful biological life in our soils, there are endless possibilities. In our gardens, with endless compost come endless possibilities! Many of an organic gardener’s problems can be solved with more compost. Too many weeds competing with crops? Mulch with compost. Too dry? Add more compost. Not enough fertility? More compost. I could go on.Continue reading "Compossibilities"
Abundant thinking - We’ve been doing an abundance of thinking. Now, there is plenty of doing. Since September, we’ve been working together planning how to set up Earthed Up! What plants will we grow, where? How do plant health regulations apply? Where will we sell? We’ve launched a market research survey this past week to help. Thanks toContinue reading "Abundant thinking"
polyculture eyes - Above all else a forest gardener needs to be in touch with their garden.  My book ‘the garden of equal delights’ is my attempt to discover the essence of the relationship between a forest gardener and their forest garden, and thereby to tease out some fundamental principles to guide that relationship.  The key to unlockingContinue reading "polyculture eyes"
Assembling - For months now, we’ve been getting everything together. We still are. There’s no end to preparing and making new plans. We’re proud to be starting out in business. Excited to be making yet more garden spaces. Can there ever be enough gardens in our lives?
Plant profile: sorrel - Rumex acetosa I’m not sure whether to describe sorrel as a ‘humble green’ or not. It’s zingy, it’s surprising, it’s versatile. Maybe not humble. It’s just that it’s around all the time, a dependable green. If you search the web for ‘what to do with sorrel’, you’ll likely be recommended fish dishes. You can doContinue reading "Plant profile: sorrel"
No such thing as bad weather - Our outdoor kit was put to the test as we had a good workout, moving our first delivery of compost. We moved 60 bags of compost 200 metres uphill to our growing area. With thanks to our trusty barrows. It soon warmed us up in the snow! Despite the forecast being clear, the white wetContinue reading "No such thing as bad weather"
Perennial kale in garden January Babies coming to life….. - At the beginning of our journey into building a plant Nursery…..It’s the 22nd of January and I’m excited to see the Sweet Cicely are coming up, along with Chervil. It’s hard to believe that they have liked the past month of frosty, snowy and rainy weather but there they are popping up. Chervil can beContinue reading "Babies coming to life….."
Getting to know the neighbours - We are appreciative of the people helping us grow by giving us access to their land. We are taking a patchwork approach in our early days. We have 3 growing sites, all around the Belper area. Our largest site is a former paddock, with majestic oak trees and some shimmering silver birch. We are slowlyContinue reading "Getting to know the neighbours"