How Does Your Garden Grow?

The Observer must be one of the few newspapers in the world to have its own organic allotment garden. And an ongoing blog about it too. It's a year old now and the garden's development has involved community members, local school children and newspaper staff. The first weeks were hard--the amateur gardeners had no idea of how bad the site was, with iron, rusted piping and a concrete wall embedded in the ground. Having cleared that out with the help of a digger, they were on their way. Since this is England and everything and anything will grow here, they planted in late November and by Christmas had 3 inch high shoots of green. They decided to follow the biodynamic planting calender which is a more spiritual and ritualized way of planting. Despite the endless wet summer and the blight and disease that resulted, including the loss of all the tomato plants, the vegetables finally flourished. After a school competition for the best scarecrow, a wonderful red pirate was erected mid-field. By autumn onions, chard, beans and squash were harvested.

Reconnecting with food and where it comes from was a learning experience for the whole community involved. And since there was no travel cartage for the food, no processing or refrigeration or packaging, it forms its own perfect little eco-system. With some sadness the newspaper staff handed back the allotment to its owner--a huge personal and environmental success. :: Observer Magazine

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