Today I planted more seeds inside – several different varieties of peas and broad beans, pak choi and more radishes. Since we are on a new and untried site here, we don’t know which will be best suited to our soil and our climatic conditions. Choosing a number of different seeds to try means that we are more likely to get a worthwhile crop at the end of it.
Since I started work on the designs for our planting system in the polytunnel and outside vegetable beds I have been thinking about the importance of diversity a lot. The ‘forest garden’ inspired changes we are making and will continue to make in the established orchard are also geared towards increasing biodiversity, while also growing enough fruit and vegetables to feed us all. There are some very successful forest gardens in Scotland but we hope that our efforts here will one day help in research into forest gardens in this particular area.
Already, we are seeing a greater diversity of birds in the garden, since we put out feeders for them. In spring, planting beneficial flowers as companion plants will encourage a range of beneficial insects.
We are also already noticing the role played by our own diverse range of skills and abilities here too – everyone has something different to contribute to the whole.