We love getting our hands dirty so this autumn we decided to do it together. A group member has already rented an allotment and this is where we will grow produce together. We want the children to learn to love the soil, to see the magic of a plant growing out of a tiny seed, to understand the work involved in growing their own food and to have fun while learning an important life skill.
We started the process by covering the soil with cardboard and a thick layer of wood chips. We did this for two reasons, on the one hand we wanted to get rid of the weed (mostly grass) and it seemed easier this way. Our more important reason, however was to avoid digging the soil as this may eventually kill all the beneficial creatures in it, from earthworms and other invertebrates to bacteria and fungi. We are planning to practice no dig gardening to help the soil regenerate.
In the process of covering the soil we encountered two handsome frogs and we decided to leave some of the long grass and also build a small pond for them to reproduce and keep slugs in bay.