Totnes Healthy Futures Project Community Garden

2 May 2011

Whilst I was visiting Totnes recently I visited the Totnes Healthy Futures Project Community Garden located in Lamb Garden between Cistern Street and Leechwell Street.  The project and garden was created originally with an aim to help people with mental and phyiscal disabilities and difficulties.  The garden is maintained by volunteers and was funded by a variety of sources, including Greater Dartmoor Leaf (Local Enterprise Action Fund), Leatside Surgery, South Hams District Council and the Big Lottery Fund.  The project garden offers growing sessions providing volunteering opportunities, learning how to grow fruit and vegetables, physical exercise as well as heathly eating information.  During my visit a selection of vegetables, fruit and herbs were developing, including different varieties of mint (apple mint, moroccan mint, black peppermint and garden mint) (as pictured in the gallery below or by visiting my Flickr set).

Raised Vegetable Bed – the VegTrug

29 April 2011

This blog post article discusses planning and introducing a raised vegetable bed to the garden.  I have been planning to add a raised vegetable bed to the garden for sometime now, but never had time to get around to doing this garden project as yet.

After considering the many possibilities, including making my own and visiting a selection of garden centres for possible raised bed products I stumbled upon the VegTrug.  Although raised bed products and kits aren’t a new idea, the VegTrug seems to have become a popular product in a short amount of time.  The VegTrug is an attractive wooden raised vegetable bed in a range of sizes.  Due to it being raised above the ground, it keeps produce away from slugs and snails.  The British firm behind the VegTrug has also introduced a few innovative ideas, such as an iPhone app, website offering growing ideas, pictures, videos and other relevant content as well as a Twitter feed which I feel adds value to the product and their brand in order to ensure you make full use of the VegTrug and to provide and share new fresh ideas through users contributing their comments.  I decided to use the VegTrug for the basis of my raised vegetable bed, however due to popularity the size I wanted was out of stock.  Therefore, I reserved one and now waiting for new stock to be delivered to the garden centre in the next few weeks.  Due to waiting for the VegTrug to arrive, I have been able to plan my vegetable bed.  The plan so far for the raised vegetable bed is as follows:

A selection of vegetables, salad, herbs and fruit will be grown, initially as listed below.

  • Strawberries in one or two corners, due to cascading over the side
  • A row of carrots in the middle due to more depth
  • Curly kale
  • Mint in another corner
  • Lettuce or other salad leaves
  • Radishes
  • Spring onions
  • Other possible additions: beetroot, cabbage and potatoes

It will be situated on a paved area and produce will be planted using a mix of seeds and from plants.  Previously I have grown vegetables, herbs such as mint and fruit separately in pots and containers.  However, the VegTrug will allow me to have a dedicated self-contained raised vegetable bed in the garden for growing a selection of homegrown produce.  Other benefits include easy maintenance and weeding as well as watering of the produce due to it being raised and a self-contained area.  It is also versatile as the produce grown can change depending on the seasons and if not required during a particular period could be used for planting flowers and plants as a decorative planter.  I’m excited about the new addition to the garden and can’t wait to install the VegTrug, plant the produce and for the first harvest.  I will post further blog updates and articles, including pictures in order to follow how the raised vegetable bed grows and develops as well as changes through the seasons.