Real Men Sow

8 Things About My Somerset Garden

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It’s nearly 10 months since we moved to Somerset. Life is beginning to take shape: Ailsa has a job here, Lewis starts at the local primary school in September (where did that time go??) and Rory the pre-school. We’re exploring the new surroundings and can now make it to the shops for milk without the need for the sat nav.

Then there’s the garden. Here 8 observations from my time here in Somerset so far.

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The Story of a Daubenton Perennial Kale, Part 1


I’ve been banging on about my love for kale since the very beginning of Real Men Sow. All hail curly kale!, I announced back in February 2011 after harvesting 42 leaves in the middle of winter. I love kale, and have grown various forms since then, including dwarf curly, normal curly, purple kale and the sweeter cavolo nero.

So when Alison from Backyard Larder very kindly offered me another variety, I was delighted to snap up the chance – especially as this particular type of kale is a perennial plant…

A perennial kale? That grows back every year? How could I refuse?

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8 More Tips for Effective Watering on the Allotment

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allotment 018

Living in Essex, I learnt a lot about watering. It’s one of the the driest places in England, and being predominantly clay soil, I needed to be on top of my watering game.

A few years ago I wrote 7 Tips for Effective Watering on the Allotment, but thanks to my Essex upbringing I learnt a lot more too. So here are 8 more tips to help with your watering that I’ve picked up since.

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope.

However, three years on, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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Allotment Cakes for the Weekend

  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #14 – Courgette, Lime and Coconut Cake
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #13 – Jamie Oliver’s Squash Muffins
  • An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #12 – Lemon Curd & Blueberry Loaf Cake
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #11 – Apple and Cinnamon Flapjacks
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #10 – Fresh Ginger and Apple Cake
  • Good Food Magazine Marrow and Pecan Cake
  • A Rhubarbey Roundup, and Whatever Happened to Allotment Cakes for the Weekend?
  • (Not) An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #7 Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

Saving £500 a year!

During 2011, I kept a diary of how much money I save from growing my own fruit and vegetables. After totalling all my outgoings, I saved approximately £500 over the year. I made a spreadsheet to calculate these savings - it’s nothing too complicated, as I’m no Excel guru, but hopefully someone else will find it as useful (and strangely fun) as me. For more info, visit my Money Saving Experiment page by clicking here.


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