Sandy is inspired by nature and gardening allows her to connect with that ethos. Her website and blog are very much about growing her own but integrated with the natural world and ideas on how to embrace and protect it.
Have you always loved gardening and growing your own veg?
I only really started gardening when I moved into a house in my mid-20s. That was bigger than the gardens I’d previously had and it became very clear that it would need some maintenance. But quite quickly I realised that just maintaining it was not enough and I became interested in growing my own vegetables.
It really all started on a window ledge with coriander seeds and I was hooked.
Now I grow as much as I possibly can, vegetables, herbs, flowers, all from seed. And this year I began propagation of my houseplants which I give away to family and friends when they visit.
What are your views on recycling?
I have been a keen recycler although sitting in on some webinars during this lockdown period has really opened my eyes to the fact that we really don’t have a reliable infrastructure to cope with the extensive amount of waste households produce. So now I don’t rely completely on recycling as I’m convinced this should be a last resort; today I try to practise a zero waste lifestyle where possible. It can be tricky but it is achievable if you become a conscious consumer and acknowledge that all your waste has to go ‘somewhere’. It’s about asking yourself, what am I going to do with it once it’s served its purpose.
I think TerraCycle is a fantastic organisation that is doing great things but people can find these places locally. Here in West Devon we have an organisation called ProperJob, which is a charity-run organisation that gives all your unwanted goods a second chance in life and it also has a brilliant compost service, where garden waste is taken and turned into the most beautiful, rich, organic compost.
You still encourage recycling and greener gardening if possible. Do you have a top tip you can share?
Compost is the key. The composter is the engine room of the garden. Every home should have a composter and every garden needs rich organic matter. And making your own compost can be achieved in the smallest of gardens and in a variety of different ways, either in the form of bins (and there are many to choose from) or wormeries.
We are at a stage where we need to be more conscious of the waste that we are producing and where it’s going. Producing your own homemade compost is such an easy process, you keep food scraps out of landfill and you save money by not having to purchase compost in plastic bags! For me it’s a win-win scenario.
You love to ‘skip dip’ and visit reclamation yards. What’s your best find?
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STORY OF THE SPUD
Annabelle Padwick loves potatoes and reveals a bit about their history and some useful growing tips
WAYS WITH WATER
Water is a precious resource, says Stephanie Hafferty This month she looks at different ways it can be used efficiently and effectively in the garden to benefit both plants and wildlife
TWEET AND VEG MAN
A keen fisherman, a lifelong veg grower and now a social media sensation Gerald Stratford talks to Grapevine podcast host, Daniel Heighes
Roll OUT THE marrow
Pick them young as courgettes or grow them to full maturity... you can usually grow marrows without really trying
SEEDS WITH STORIES MAKE TASTIER FRUITS
Home-grown produce almost always tastes better than shop-bought fruit and vegetables. With that in mind, just imagine how delicious tomatoes and peppers raised from saved seed can taste. Professional gardener
A drop of the good stuff
Just like us, plants need a regular supply of good food in order to grow and thrive. KG editor Steve Ott takes a look at some of the more natural ways we can provide them with a square meal
Back to school WITH raspberries!
With a focus on raspberries, this month David Patch explains exactly what is required to cultivate the tastiest of fruit
Pest And Disease Control Without Chemicals
This month Dr Anton Rosenfeld, knowledge officer of Garden Organic, explains how you can manage pests and diseases in your gardens naturally
Crop Covers To Fit Your Needs
In this extract from her book Growing Under Cover, Niki Jabbour offers advice on the range of covers you can use to protect your crops
From Seed To Sunflowers
Emily Cupit from Derbyshire was given some seed packets during lockdown last year and it started a growing passion that she now shares on social media
SECURITY CAMERA HACK EXPOSES HOSPITALS, WORKPLACES, SCHOOLS
Hackers aiming to call attention to the dangers of mass surveillance say they were able to peer into hospitals, schools, factories, jails and corporate offices after they broke into the systems of a security-camera startup.
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THE PRODUCT HAS SOME BIG-TIME HITS
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But keep washing your hands.
The Joys of Being Retired
Several months ago, I wrote that one of my simple pleasures in retirement is having the freedom to run errands at noon on a Tuesday, with little traffic, lots of parking and ’60s music playing on the car radio (see “Living in Retirement,” Dec. 2019). That prompted an e-mail from reader Bob Swahlen, who also experiences “the joy of having freedom and time,” with one exception: “I find Bo Diddley to be a good companion on the ’50s channel.”
Celebrating Black History on Staten Island
Sandy Ground, the oldest continuously inhabited black settlement in the United States, is located on the south shore of Staten Island. In 1828, just one year after slavery was abolished in New York, African American John Jackson purchased land there. Jackson operated a ferry between Sandy Ground and Manhattan and New Jersey. He was the first black landowner on all of Staten Island.
A twist on a B&B succession story
Older buyers get a new adventure with nicest guests, and younger sellers now free to roam
It was a Saturday afternoon.