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The "Good Life" at Sausagelinks

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Here at Sausagelinks HQ we like good food. With six year old twins we are also keen to teach our girls about food and where it comes from.

Ok, not much of a sausagelink but we do occasionally eat vegetables with our meat and need lots of spuds for the sausage and mash. Anyway here's a picture of our new veg plot in mid July. There are 2 raised beds 6 by 12 foot plus a smaller narrow bed (out of the picture) against the warm south facing wall of the house.

We are on heavy clay so used the raised beds to increase drainage and add more structure. The idea of raised beds is to avoid standing on the soil and work from the path, really our beds are too wide but we wanted to use the space. The paths are covered in bark chippings, the plot is south facing but partially shaded by an old apple tree.

We wanted to have a slightly ornamental/potager effect so planted a box ball or column in each of the inner 4 corners and have planted herbs and flowers along the edges. We are growing several varieties of heritage tomatoes in the bed against the wall and a mix of vegetables (an early and main crop potato, onions, shallots, garlic, broad beans, climbing French beans, runner beans, beetroot, radishes, lettuce, courgettes and fennel) and fruit (strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb) in the larger beds. Flowers are sweet peas, dahlias and marigolds. Evey thing is grown in rows parallel to the house (this looks nice)!

As novices we have made mistakes, planting things too closely and not having enough succession planting. Next year we will focus on the crops that worked well and try a few new ones - peas were a flop but the few they we grew tasted so sweet that we will try again.

The greatest success have been the yellow Italian Courgettes from Seeds of Italy and the sheer pleasure of picking a fresh, home grown vegetable and eating it straight away. Sauteed broad beans and chorizo have also been pretty good.

We will be featuring the plot in greater detail in our next newsletters, including photos showing how it has developed since we made the raised beds in March.

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