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Natural plant food

Pigeon magazine article August: Feeding your garden the natural way.


The garden is hopefully growing and it needs feeding, and fortunately there are numerous way to make your own compost and plant food. It may seem simpler to reach for a bottle of artificial fertiliser, but they upset the micro-life in the soil, plus they need natural gas, increasingly from fracking, in their manufacture. Also why spend the money?


Here are two you can do in limited space.

A wormery is simply a container that houses worms to which you feed veg scraps. These come out the other ends as crumbly, rich wormcast compost which is great for the garden. The advantages are they are more compact, and faster to make compost than conventional compost heaps. Almost immediately you will be able to harvest a liquid feed that collects in the bottom of the bin.

You can of course buy wormeries, but it is also possible to build your own from a tough plastic box with a lid.  Small enough for even a tiny back yard so anyone to start creating their own compost from fruit and veg scraps. Here is a good video with Chris Beardshaw showing how to make one.


You can also make liquid feed from comfrey (as it seeds itself widely its best to buy Bocking 14 which is infertile), or from nettles if you can find some.

Put leaves into a covered container and weigh them down. In time they will decompose into a thick dark liquid. Dilute this to the colour of straw and water onto plants – especially good for hungry vegetables such as tomatoes, courgettes and potatoes.

How to save seeds from "easy" vegetables and wild flowers Bristol’s well loved permaculture activist, Mike Feingold will be talking about how to save seed and why this is important. Mike has been at the centre of Bristol’s practical permaculture community for many years. He runs a thriving community orchard at Royate Hill, where he also has his own allotment.

Mike teaches on the Shift Bristol permaculture course and co- ordinates large teams of volunteers every year to run practical permaculture areas at festivals including Glastonbury Festival.

He’s also involved in redistributing unwanted food to communities in need across the city.

Mike’s talk will focus on seed saving from ‘easy’ vegetables, as well as saving wild seed. He’ll also touch on the politics of seed saving.

Mark De'Lisser

Often taking inspiration from the natural environment, poet Mark De’Lisser weaves words that explore the ever shifting tides of the human experience. 


Born in London and now settled in Bath, Mark has written professional commissions for the Bath Abbey and Roots Allotment, and regularly collaborates with musicians.

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