Growing Our Own: Update 6 from the New VegBox Garden

19 05 2009
the new veggie patch

the new veggie patch

Last time I wrote, I said I was going to:

– finish digging the rubble out of the newly exposed ground in my back yard;
– plant the broad beans and tomato into the bed;
– sow the sweetcorn; pak choi; purple sprouting broccoli; black (Cavalo) nero cabbage; endive, and kohl rabi;
– eat some of my own lettuce!

So how’s it all coming along? And how’s yours? Read the full article and let us know how you’re getting on, over on our sister site,


What Earth Day Did For ME!

28 04 2009
with you, little spinaches, I will change the world...

with you, little spinaches, I will change the world...

Bless my cotton socks, but I thought I was going to go down in history as some kind of vegetable crusader. Remember the Earth Day Challenge I was preparing myself for?

Well, let’s just say it didn’t quite go as expected ūüėČ

Was I pelted with copies of last week’s TV Times? Perhaps I was routinely ignored in a slightly sneering way by all and sundry… Or maybe there WEREN’T any passers-by to accost with smiles and spinach seedlings…

No. I can assure you it was worse. Or maybe that should be better? I’m still a little confused!

Read on over on ooffoo to find out what exactly became of my attempt to change my neighbourhood.

Growing Our Own: Update 5 from the New VegBox Garden

21 04 2009

Announcing progress beyond my wildest dreams!

1. The VegBox Garden just got a WHOLE lot bigger.

2. The veggies already planted just got a whole lot bigger (and some are about to be eaten).

3. And the global Grow Your Own movement just got a whole lot bigger too.

PLUS I haven’t killed ANYthing now since March!

Read on over on to find out exactly what we’ve been up to, to compare notes, to offer your own advice (please!) and to access some other really useful online resources to help you along.

bigger bigger bigger!

bigger bigger bigger!

What to do (on the veg-patch) in May …

1 04 2009
would you grow this?

would you grow this?

Thinning the spinach, successional sowing the lettuce for cut and come again, pinching out the broad beans, using manure for the squash, and planning for the brassicas …

All the things our mentors Tony, Ann and Red are telling us we need to be doing over the next couple of months…

But what ARE they?!

Join us over on our sister site,, as we share what we’re learning on the journey to home-grown food.

Growing Our Own: Update 4 from the New VegBox Garden

1 04 2009
one of many!

one of many!

You may remember that last month I’d been merrily killing off the lettuce and accidentally cultivating giraffe-like broad bean plants?

Well I’m grinning happily now.

To find out how I saved some weedy seedlings, why exactly I’ve planted ten pots of spinach, and how I plan to get the neighbours into the street in their pyjamas, visit our sister site,, where you can read the whole article.

Growing Our Own – update 2 from the new VegBox Garden

10 02 2009

Today has been like a very happy cross between Blue Peter and Ground Force!

blue skies

blue skies again

Somehow, the snow of last week put me off even doing the indoor jobs needed to keep the new VegBox Garden heading in the right direction. But today the sky is blue, and the lean-to seemed more inviting. Having turned off the central heating and confined myself to this one room, I felt ok about having a little electric heater going. And whilst the bobble hat and fluffy socks are not my most alluring look, I’m cosy enough not just to do the gardening but to blog whilst I’m in here!

Step 1 – I filled my arms full of all the cardboard boxes and tubes and plastic yogurt pots I’ve been saving to re-use since before Christmas, then shuffled through the house dropping them like breadcrumbs, finally reaching the lean-to dribbling toilet roll inner tubes like an FA cup champion on training day.

home-made seed planters

home-made seed planters

Step 2 – watched Mrs Green’s video on making carrot seed planters out of re-used toilet roll inner tubes, keeping up with her as she went and ending up with a happy little row of home-made containers, slotted into converted catfood product boxes to keep them secure, and finally set inside rolled-down biodegradable plastic recycling bags.

I was really chuffed with the orange bag touch. Firstly, I’m hoping it will help keep water from leaking all over the place when I water the little seedlings. Secondly – I’ve just discovered I’ve got to move out at the end of this month, so I figure that when the time comes, I can move them by rolling up the bag to carry them in.

polystyrene cooler for re-use as a planter

polystyrene cooler for re-use as a planter

Step 3 – Carrot planters duly made, I moved on to creating a planter for the broad beans out of the last Abel & Cole cooler box my milk arrived in. I wasn’t sure if it was OK to plant directly into polystyrene, but I found a brilliant Australian website called PermUP and they were using very similar boxes, so I felt reassured.

Step 4 – Ahem … texted the VegBox Husband and ask him to pick up some soil for me on his way back from work … Then checked the RocketGardens guidelines on seed spacing for broad beans and lettuce so I know what I’m doing when the soil is delivered. Oops. That is, graciously acquired on my behalf and brought home lovingly, of course. Not delivered. No no.

puy and red lentil mix for bake

puy and red lentil mix for bake

Step 5 – Gazed adoringly at the array of home-made planters, peeked inside the broad beans packet, took photos of everything in site, including the new composting dalek in the garden, and snaffled down some lunch, which today was left-overs of last night’s VegBox House-mate enticing success – lentil bake with spicy red cabbage and apple on the side.

Step 6 – Posted about this morning’s “re-use“-erama on the eco community site “ooffoo“, where they are asking readers to vote (at the bottom on the homepage) on whether re-use is good for the economy, and running a competition to find the most innovative and inspiring re-use ideas.

If there is a better route to happiness than steps 1-6, I haven’t found it yet!

What have you lovely folks been doing on the growing your own front?