Starting a Forest Garden

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

As there is no Forest School sessions going on currently, there is time to spend starting a Forest garden. It has been inspired by family sharing knowledge and having a bit of extra time on my hands. My back has never been great, so he 'no dig' approach to gardening has always sounded like a grand plan. With books, diagrams and you tube clips shared from the younger brother from his permaculture course, my elder brother and I set about laying beds. Apparently by putting down cardboard and then manure on top, you can create the ground from which to grow your glorious produce without any digging.

I have had a shed full of all of my drawings on paper and card left over from my art degree days. What better way to use it! Reuse and recycle. It makes the perfect measurement- A1 card bed width. Manure is spread on top and then wood chip borders and pathways created.

We had a digger to move all of the manure and chips. Again- gentle on the back.

The boy child learned to drive a tractor yesterday, so he got involved, rolling the field in preparation for mowing and extending the beds in the future. So brilliant that he's got something to replace the vacancy of A-level study time.

He then helped forking and spreading all the manure and wood chip. Quite a good day's work and brilliant to be creating with the family.

There was time for a quick jaunt to the village shop to pick up essentials and baking ingredients for the small girl child. We saw some of our favourite people, but just stopped for a wave and a witter and walked on separately. Funny old times. The girl managed to fall off the stile (amateur) and has had her foot wrapped up with ice and currently she's hiding it in 4 pairs of socks to support it! We did find some garlic mustard along the way and I got the kid to taste a few bounties of spring.

She's more of a fan of the chocolate cookies she baked. At least I got her outside, even if she did come back damaged. I got sent a photo of a white egret from someone else's woods. What an incredible looking bird! I saw a heron on my stroll to the shops, mush less impressive. My image is not quite as illuminating. Let's just say I won't be entering any photographic competitions soon, don't you worry! But it was of avian nature none the less.

The eldest girl surprised me the most today. She went out for a run. On her own. Through her own choice. Those that know her would be just as surprised as me. The end of the day saw a beautiful sunset and I enjoyed a magical moment of seeing sisters gossiping together outside on the trampoline, albeit with screens.

The day came to a close with online meetings to discuss woodland management plans. I've got a lot to learn about technology and adapting to 'digital connections'. But you've got to start somewhere and now is as good a time as any.