Real Men Sow

A Patch From Scratch 2 – The Somerset Edition


We’ve been in our new Somerset home for nearly two weeks and whilst I wouldn’t say we’re sorted, we are managing to cook meals and drive to the local shop without using the satnav.

What we don’t have however, is access to the Internet. Lewis, now three and a half, is finding this unacceptable and has taken to marching around proclaiming that he ‘…NEEEEEDS the Internet!’. Oh how times have changed.

My wife and I also miss the Internet. I’m not ashamed to admit we love the Internet, and lack of Internet has made blogging and chatting on social media tricky, but much to my delight I have found a BT hotspot that just about covers the house. If you squeeze yourself in the corner of the conservatory, between the houseplant and yet-to-be-disposed-of dishwasher, you can get just about get a passable connection.Whilst the connection is playing ball, I thought I’d try and write a quick blog about future plans for growing veg.

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Four Veg I’d Be Overwintering Now If I Wasn’t Moving Away…


With our impending move getting closer and closer, my weekends are more loft clearance and tip trips than leisurely Autumn allotment sessions. I’m spending the little plot time that I have tidying up my raised beds and getting ready to pass the baton to the next person.

Working a plot that will no longer be yours in two months time is a funny feeling. There is a sense of pride in making sure it is given over in as good shape as possible, but there is also the strange thought processes when you remember that you’re giving it up. You think of the jobs you need to do, and then remember that you don’t need to do them, especially as I’ve not got anything sorted out for growing once we get to our new house.

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6 Things I’ve Learnt From Growing Vegetables in a Small Space

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Having started tidying up my veg beds in readiness for moving, I’ve been reflecting on hat I’ve learned since I went from growing on an allotment to having my vegetable beds in the garden.

My growing space was effectively reduced by two thirds, but I found learning to produce good yields and tasty crops from a small area an interesting and invigorating challenge.

We’ve had an offer accepted on a house in Somerset, complete with smart greenhouse and a similar sized space to cultivate some veg as my current garden plot. There are also some ridiculously cheap allotments for rent just up the road, priced at a fiver a year for a full size plot, so whilst I decided on whether to start growing exclusively in the garden or rent myself an allotment too, here are 6 things I’ve learnt from growing in small spaces.

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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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