Welcome to the organic section of Grace & Flavour.
A section of the G&F garden - about a quarter of the site - is committed to organic principles of cultivation. It is our aim to produce fruit and vegetables without using chemicals; working with nature to garden in a sustainable way. We can't claim the fruit and veg will be 'organic' as the land is not soil association approved but we will be growing organically produced fruit and veg.
September 2012 Update
In a very wet year we have defeated the slugs organically, picking them off, keeping weed free clear beds and using a few organic slug pellets. (Coffee grains have not worked.) We only lost a few lettuces and about 2 or 3 purple sprouting plants. Rabbits have caused many more problems than slugs!
In our four bed rotation the root crops have been generally good although we lost some potatoes to rotting. The outdoor carrots grown under fleece cropped beautifully following on from the indoor ones. The beetroot all 3 varieties have cropped well but members still do not seem that interested in golden beetroot. Parsnips look fantastic.
The onion/leek beds have also been successful. We cropped some large well formed garlic and summer onions. The shallots both autumn and summer were excellent. 5 beds of leeks look healthy, some are being grown under mesh to prevent leek moth attacking them.
Summer Broad Beans were excellent pest, free and prolific. However sugar snap peas have produced small crops and we need to re think the planting for next year. Runner and Climbing French Beans (having combated the rabbits) have produced a reasonable harvest but appear to be finishing cropping rather early.
Brassicas grow brilliantly in our growing conditions. We have huge and delicious summer round cabbage and the Brussels Sprouts, Red and Savoy Cabbage, and Swede look to be developing well.
The courgettes grown above weed suppressant as an experiment have been a complete success. Cucumbers and Gem Squashes planted next to the wall to grow up some wire supports have produced good crops, next year we shall extend this experiment. Crown Prince squash and Butternut squash appear to be well formed and maturing on the plants. Spinach both early and late summer has been delicious. Lettuces notably Maravilla De Verano produced a lovely crop.
The poly tunnel has been a disaster area with blight invading the tunnel and wiping out the tomatoes. It is really disappointing after all the effort and energy put into growing them. On a more positive note, in front of the polytunnel we have experimented with some cut flowers, which have been enormously colourful, a definite success.We were very pleased recently when the 'organic' section of the Grace & Flavour garden was awarded a silver in the West Horsley in Bloom competition.
Please have a look at our:
Which part of the garden is it?
When you walk into the garden you can see there is a path going down the centre, known as Hollier Avenue. Most of the section cultivated against the wall on the far side is the organic section.
Do I have to sign up to join the organic section?
No, anyone can come and help us at any time. The more the merrier!
Do I have to work on the organic section to buy the produce from it?
No! But we'd welcome anyone at anytime to come and give us a hand.
Are you going to get Soil Association approval?
Not yet, chiefly because of the expense and sourcing appropriate organic matter.
We look forward to seeing you down at the garden,
John, Ray, Ashley, Jeremy & Justine