Our neighbour Hilary Reem has lived in East Garston for 60 years and I have known her all my life. I have always aspired to her self-sufficient lifestyle, growing her own vegetables, keeping chickens, goats and ponies, making yoghurt and kimchi, lovely pottery (see video below) and wood carving as well as teaching yoga.
I hope the BBC will forgive my naming this blog after their iconic 1970s sitcom The Good Life about Tom and Barbara’s less successful attempts at self-sufficiency in Surbiton (click here to watch some episodes on YouTube).
Broad Bean Planting
Broad beans are hardy so they are one of the first crops to get started in your garden. You can even plant them in November and they will survive the winter. However you do have to protect them from hungry mice, squirrels and pigeons.
Parsnip Seed Sowing
Parsnip seeds take a long time to germinate so there is a risk they will get lost in a busy garden. In this video, Hilly demonstrates a technique of inter-planting with a much faster growing crop like radishes to solve this problem.
Early Potato Planting
In this video Hilly explains how potatoes are susceptible to blight and what you can do about it and the best way to plant them.
When Hilly isn’t in the garden she is usually busy making her iconic stoneware pottery.