A cosy cottage for couples or families to enjoy the farm
Join Beca for this tour of the Edible Garden. Find out more about how our garden was designed, planted and is maintained and ask questions you might have about how it is maintained.
When we started thinking about what we could do with the muddy patch of ground between the Long Barn and the Byre Kate came up with the idea of having an edible garden. Luckily we are surrounded with many talented people in the Wye Valley and we soon heard about Beca Beeby of Bwca Edible Gardens.
The challenge we gave Beca was to create a garden where we could grow food for use in the kitchens, while fitting in with the farm's ethos of showcasing methods and practices that can be taught and shared – so it needed to be practical. We also needed the garden to be relatively low-maintenance. No only would this fit with the farm, but also shows that you don't need to spend all of your time working on the space. Another key consideration was that we wanted to make sure that the space was attractive to beneficial pollinators, as well as providing us with edible crops. We have all heard about the struggle of bees at the moment and we wanted to do our bit to help.
Beca has created a fantastic garden that not only provides food for the cafe but can also be used for demonstrations and teaching. Using permaculture and forest gardening principles, everything planted produces a crop of some sort, be it fruit, veg, salads, herbs, spices and nuts, or to attract beneficial insects. The garden also houses an external aquaponics system: the fish in the pond provide nutrients for the plants in the water beds, which in turn filter the water before returning it, re-oxygenated and cleaned, to the fish pond.
The majority of plants are perennials: trees, shrubs and smaller bushes etc, or naturalising plants. This type of gardening is less labour intensive than traditional fruit and veg growing and allows a healthy, fertile soil structure to prevail. A small, balanced eco-system is built, attracting beneficial insects, invertebrates and mammals, resulting in less pest and disease problems. The garden will mature into a productive and beautiful area with minimal maintenance needed.