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Planting Season

So much has been going on that it has been hard to find time to upload a blog (especially as I have never done one before so it is all a bit of a learning experience too), but the kitchen garden taking shape and the first ever planting for us at Penybanc feels like a seminal moment and worthy of a blog entry!

So back when we first saw Penybanc, the kitchen garden was  just a field.

We realised there was no drainage when we tried to plant something and the first hole we dug just filled with water. We should have realised there was a problem by the strip of rushes growing down the middle of the field.

So the first step in turning this field into our kitchen garden was to sort out the drainage. Our neighbour put us in touch with a local farmer who came round with his digger to dig a ditch around two sides of the field. I never thought I would be so excited about a ditch and went to check on it every time it rained. This is it:

Then we measured out and marked out the beds. Later it transpired that our measuring string might have stretched as the diagonals didn’t add up… but thankfully I don’t think that the plants will be too fussy about the exact measurements of their beds.

Then Jules got his rotavator out for the first time. It took about 5 goes over the grass with the rotavator, some digging was required to extract the huge roots of the rushes and then we (with help from Martyn and Rachel) raised the fronts of the beds with recycled plastic in order to stop all our soil washing away down the hill.

















The last push, double digging the beds and getting them ready for planting was pretty exhausting and left us all with aching muscles. Now the first round of veg is in: parsnips, first early potatoes, carrots, onions, shallots, broad beans and garlic. We’ve protected some of them from frost with a fleece, which I had never heard of before, but I love that my veg needs wrapping up until spring starts in earnest!

Now we need to wait for them to grow…. and the war on weeds and pests is declared!


Welcome to our site!

Before we go any further you should be aware that we both flagrantly abuse the exclamation mark So if you’re the literary type that shudders at their lack of precision then be gone, this site will offend!

Anyway… over the next few weeks we will be aiming to catch up with the goings on at Penybanc Farm.

V and horse

There are a few reasons for doing what some might consider a self-important thing like creating a website when we are not a commercial business. The first is that it provides an easy and effective way of keeping those that are interested up to date with what we are up to. Websites make a great ‘take it or leave it’ method of spreading information.

The second reason is to let you know what jobs, other visitors, shindigs etc. we have going on so that you can plan your own visits accordingly (I recommend timing your stay with Cider making…). If you want to see what’s going on check out our calendar.


Finally, we hope that we can use our experience to spread some interest about the world around us and maybe even start some discussions or offer a forum for support to others that need advice or encouragement. Posts will rapidly expand to cover subjects ranging from hedge laying to solar panels to the Welsh assembly (maybe).

We hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and of course send us feedback!