organic gardens

we visited an organic garden yesterday I have to say I wasn’t that impressed from what I seen

my expectations. well I am mindful that organic was presumably  to bring together a more healthier approach to growing veg together with  the conservation of wild life and including bees and other insects but to me the plots seen where overgrown very weedy and untidy I felt like going into the tool shed arming myself with a spade fork and hoe

and getting stuck in to tidy up the place what I expected was rows of organic veg growing in tidy rows some of the old varieties that one could compare with the more modern veg  breeding  I had a job to make out what was  veg or  just a prolific mass of  weeds

it made my allotment look like paradise compared to those  then I have to say I am really an organic person just a common grower

I think the best part of our visit was the restaurant a good cup of tea and a piece of traditional home baked organic cake

there was no admission charge so it was respectively a cheep visit one that I think will be remembered  as visited



19 Responses

  1. SIMONDO says:

    Hi Roly.
    Organic ..non organic …. You can be tidy or untidy in someones opinion in both systems i would think.
    When Bod Flowerdew advocated using carpet or tyres some were offended by the appearance and others thought the ingenuity outweighed the aesthetic.
    Folks in lots of different ways so the place you went to may grow produce and look fine to them..or it could just have been in a state of transition between what you saw and what the folks there were aiming at :unsure:
    I wonder if you could find out what the owners make of there place through there eyes…could be mighty interesting :-)

  2. mick1970 says:

    hi roly again agree with simon i know someone who spends 20 mins on his plot no weeds pulled lawn cut 3 times a year not organic bone idle……..then i know someone and the pleasure they get at making a home for even the enemies of the garden

  3. dandlyon says:

    To me grow the way you enjoy doing it, every one has their own level of what they want to achieve. Some people are natural straight lines mitltery style othes haphazzard fill all the spaces type of growers,theres nothing set in stone ,just enjoy it.its like keeping clean some of our plot holders look imaculate,me I would come out of a flour mill black :lol:

  4. roly says:

    I take your point but in reality most gardeners and allotments I have visited seem to be done what I would call the traditional way

    to maximise their effort put into the garden or allotment to achieve the best results we know we can’t win all the time and we are bound to get failures but from what I seen was in the name of organic then ime pleased I’m not an organic person

    and yes there has been times when my allotments hasn’t looked its best but now retired it has given me more time to concentrate on growing and at the same time enjoying gardening more

    I have to say some of the plots on our allotments are not up to cultivation standards in fact some are most untidy I don’t know if its the lack of understanding when it comes to these people veg growing but we’ve had a new kid on the block or should I say on the plot and he has gone to town his plot looks like something out of the Chelsea flower show its a real credit to him and he’s not afraid to ask for advise of the old gardeners

    its a shame because some have simply given up but thankfully some plots have been taken over by better gardeners including the one mentioned our landlords the local council who do monitor the allotments frequently and advise those not cultivating there plots of the terms and conditions that they agreed to when taking the plot on

    sometimes there are circumstances that force people to give up the allotments through health reasons one particular chap had one of the best kept allotments he was a first class gardener who knew his onions if you know what I mean he had to give up because of heart problems it was very sad to see him having to give his allotments

    so I think il’e stick to my way the traditional :yes:

  5. I think this is all very valid and interesting from everyone. I know a lot of people who tell me my garden is lovely but theirs is completely the opposite and it’s good that we are all different. I like to think I am organic and wildlife friendly but my OH still has to use glyphosate on the lane as the first year I insisted he leave it because I liked the wild flowers but that meant we couldn’t get through it all by the end of the summer. And nevermind what the delivery drivers thought…
    Let’s face it – it doesn’t matter how we garden – there’s a commercial opportunity there for some business man/woman :yes:

  6. SIMONDO says:

    Hi Roly
    Is you main concern based around the appearance of plots and gardens or the assertion that the organic way of growing a untidy one? I only make this connection based on your comment that “Im pleased I’m not a organic person”.
    I would suggest that this may not be case and neat and tidy is in the eye of the beholder.
    The place you visited obviously wasn’t the way you like to do things ..fine..but did it represent anything other than those folks way of doing things the organic way??

  7. roly says:

    hi Simon
    in answer to your questions firstly I was not under the impression that to be organic actually meant everything in the garden had to be wild

    because that was definitely not my perception of being organic and if being an organic grower meant gardening this way then its not for me

    I have grown and been to gardeners that do profess to be all organic gardening on the same basis as traditional but with more emphasis on the non use of pesticides using organic matter as opposed to artificial fertilizers and to encourage and protect wildlife there the main points as I understand

    as for the organic presentation maybe its there way of working that seemed a slap happy way of gardening to me personally and it could be said I truly fit into the category of liking things neat and tidy although not always possible to achieve and you’re absolutely right neat and tidy is in the eye of the beholder

    finally may be it is those folks way doing things the organic way and off cause everyone to there own :yes:

  8. cilla says:

    This is interesting Roly. I am organic although OH does use glyphosate on the paths and paving. I don’t use chemicals to spray beasties unless I make my own with garlic, rhubarb leaves etc. I weed by hand. I’m sure my garden doesn’t fit into the neat and tidy bracket, mainly because I love all sorts of plants and cram too many in which is fine until you get rain and high winds when they all collapse into each other! I am very concerned about preserving our wild life, much of which is endangered and so I try to create a habitat which pleases me and also helps the wildlife.
    I wouldn’t use any chemicals on my crops because I do not see the point of growing fresh produce and then contaminating it with chemicals.
    I am in awe of neat vegetable plots with straight lines of produce, but wouldn’t like to think that is the result of chemical help. Some people are automatically neat (my OH is) but neat doesn’t seem to happen to me, even when I try :unsure:
    But being organic certainly doesn’t mean chaos and, as you say, each to their own. :rose:

  9. Beanstew says:

    Sometimes, I think what happens is that non-gardeners fall in love with the idea of organic gardening or vegetable growing as a theory – and then try to apply the principles without having a foundation of experience to build on. When I first started growing, I was visited by a very enthusiastic man from the Soil Association – but when I returned his visit, I was quietly horrified by the poor quality and disorganisation of what he was doing. But he loved the theory and the whole idea of it. There are many very successful organic growers who do know what they are doing, and are pretty organised about it – and they are worth visiting.

  10. Beanstew says:

    A further factor which you might have to take into consideration Roly, is that several of the people who are attracted to organic as a principle, are also attracted to the idea of eating “wild” food, which may look like weeds to you and me – but are edible.

  11. dandlyon says:

    I think a lot of amatuer gardeners like our selves are more organic than some of the so called organic farmers,some of the sprays they are allowed to use and still be called organic is amazing,just look at the pristine carrots and parsnips for sale in supermarkets, can we grow to that standard without growing under enviromesh,and I feel sure the organic farmers are not growing under acres of enviro mesh.Where are the holes in caggages?do slugs .moths and caterpillars only visit amatuer growers?or are we being conned into paying higher prices by the magic word ORGANIC

    • gibbon says:

      I have thort for some time that organic was a conn’ you pay over the odds for some times infearear veg, I once bought potatoes from a shop that only sold organic veg and meat, I would not have given them to the pigs, never bought organic since, :negative:

  12. Beanstew says:

    Think you have to be careful when comparing the crops an ordinary organic grower will produce, and the manicured and carefully selected items you see for sale in supermarkets as “organic”. They are graded within an inch of their lives, washed, and selected for uniformity – and there is a lot of wastage, which is probably what puts the price up as much as anything.

  13. dandlyon says:

    During the wet summer two years ago when blight was very bad the farmers had permission to use extra bordeaux mixture to the tune of an extra 2.2 tons of copper sulphate,to what is normally used.I know we need a very small amount of copper but once potato spraying starts its done every two weeks until the crops lifted. and DEFRA count bordeaux mixture as organic and is allowed to be used by organic farmers.If you ever cut yourself on copper see how quickly it festers and how lomg it takes to heal,this I know from experience after 45 years working in a copper refinery

  14. Beanstew says:

    I have no doubt you are right about the copper Tony – but the whole point of organic is that the farmers use fertilisers made from naturally occuring substances, rather than those produced in a chemical plant – and I suppose copper is a naturally occuring substance. I do believe that this is better for the health of the soil – don’t like to be full of doom, but intensive farming practices using man-made fertilisers are flogging the soil to death.

  15. roly says:

    many and I mean very interesting comments on this subject by all that does make good reading and I take on board there are many people out there that are passionate about organic growing and conservation that go hand in hand

    Tony that was very interesting to read about the use of copper because I wasn’t aware of that happening certainly got your eye on the ball

    I thought organic veg would take of big time but it seems non organic is still the top seller I think mainly because of the cost of producing organic as opposed to traditional methods lets say if there was a cabbage in the supermarket for 40p and the one next to it organic grown was 70p what would the customer go for ?

    also regarding spraying yes commercial growers do spray I suspect with non organic and the spray could be of the residue type that stays on the cabbage till its cut as a perfect cabbage ask yourself would the customer buy a cabbage full of slug holes because it was organic gown I think not

    as for the fertilizer question you’re certainly not going to change farming practices like farmers using man made fertilizers overnight because the crop yields would be a lot less but definitely the non use of man made fertilizers would be more environmentally friendly

    I hold my hands up I use man made fertilizers in on the allotment in moderation and spray my brassicas with an organic insecticide

    I like the idea of rhubarb and garlic spray cilla what’s the recipe and does it work?

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