Mini community garden in Watchet

Started by charles birch. Last reply by Mrs Susan Calvo Oct 12, 2016. 1 Reply

On the 14th. of march we set up a very small veg. bed. see U tube" admirals corner incredidible edible"on the17th. of June we harvested the potatoes. they were first 'Earlies' and made just over 21…Continue

job opportuntiy

Started by Alison Hayward. Last reply by Alison Hayward May 30, 2015. 1 Reply

South somerset Mind (Yeovil) is looking for a horticultural therapist for the Vanessa project.The role is paid for 6 hours a week at £10 per hour.  Please phone Gill on 01935 474875 for further…Continue

Tags: therapy, horticultural, work, job

Surplus Produce

Started by David Croxton. Last reply by Caroline Lewis Sep 25, 2014. 10 Replies

As part of our InQEDible Edible Project, and as a member of the Incredible Edible Network, we are not only looking to grow crops on spare land in our local communities, but also to persuade our local…Continue

Tags: gardens, fruit, community, Quantocks, poverty

Meeting and Open day at The Ivythorn Project

Started by Karen Chard May 17, 2014. 0 Replies

We are holding a meeting on Thursday 22 May for anyone interested in joining the project 7-8pm at 29 Ivythorn Road, Street.  On Saturday we are going to have an informal open day where people can…Continue

With Charles Dowding

December 14th and 15th 2013 


Charles takes you through:

Day one, the costs and benefits of creating an undug growing space

1 setting up an area for market growing: how big, how quickly, mulching inputs

2 maintaining productive soil without cultivation

3 time needed proportionate to possible costs and returns, depending on local market


Day two, details of growing

4 propagation

5 finer points of producing salad leaves, currently the only profitable crop for smaller growers

6 growing in tunnels


Background to this course

Charles started commercial growing in 1982 on an acre and a half of Cotswold brash soil. Pasture was tractor-rotovated than shaped into beds and undug thereafter. By 1987 he was cropping seven acres with four apprentices in season. He became well know for abundant harvests and few weeds.

From 1992 in southwest France he ran a half acre, undug garden on white clay for five years, supplying the local market.

Back in Somerset he established another garden on clay soil, mulched and undug, supplying salad and vegetables to local shops and restaurants from 2003, off an acre of undug beds, with output close to £30,000 in 2011 and 2012.

In 2013 he has created a new and smaller ⅓ acre garden on weedy pasture, of clay soil again, for salad and a few vegetable boxes, with many experiments and trials in the garden too, comparing dig/ no dig and compost/ no compost, among other things.

He runs day courses and monthly mentoring courses at this garden, and courses at other locations too.


No dig

Benefits for growers are less weeds, access to ground in all weathers, better moisture retention and healthier plants.

Best results are from an approximate two inch surface layer of compost to give higher output from a smaller area.

Compost can be anything from green waste, mushroom compost, your own, to year old or older animal manure.

The setting up stage may include cultivations: each site and situation is different, I can advise on that. The first year can be difficult if you are used to cultivating soil.

For teaching I use my market/experimenting garden at Homeacres, and slides of my previous garden.

Over the last eleven years my main output has been bags of mixed salad leaves which are top sellers and can provide a sound economic base for growing, so I give plenty of tips on achieving that.


Two days, from 10am to 5pm Saturday, and 9am to 3.15 pm Sunday. 

Accommodation on Saturday night can be at Homeacres in your own sleeping bag for free, or you could book into a local b&b.

Food and refreshments are included by day, and cooking facilities throughout: lunch is soup, bread and salads, while supper and breakfast are self catering.

Cost is £190.

To book:

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