Our One Acre Life
The Driessen's flourishing garden is a testament to the power of learning through trial and error and triumphing in tough conditions. When their original veggie garden site proved to be too wet, they 'moved the entire operation up the hill.' And it worked!
Now they bottle, dehydrate, freeze and ferment much of their fruit and vegetables to preserve the harvest and to eat from the garden all year round.
As curious, experimental gardeners, they're constantly adding new fruit varieties to their orchards, herbs, medicinal and tea plants to their kitchen gardens and shelterbelts.
In our food garden
Enough tomatoes to give us at least a year's supply of passata (kids!), tomato sauce, chutneys etc. Cucumbers and pickling gherkins are also favourites.
A prolific peach and quince harvest lets our kids eat bottled fruit and yoghurt most nights of the week. Our apple trees are still coming into production, so last year, we supplemented our small crop with enough roadside foraging to press over 60L of apple juice.
Standout sustainable practices
All our vegetables grow in raised beds due to our wet, heavy clay soil. We've used whatever materials we have to hand, to construct them, including recycled bricks left over from our house. Compost controls our weeds and breaks down scraps and leftover plants. We do hot composting when we can find the time and materials.
We also create habitats for birds, animals, and insects to further benefit our garden and try to outcompete the pests.
Top tip for novice gardeners
Don't be afraid to adapt and change. Even if you've put a lot of effort into designing and planting your garden, if something's just not working, don't be afraid to assess what you've achieved, what you could improve, or even start all over again!
Extra tip for time-poor gardeners - Adopting a 'just get this one bed planted/weeded/mulched' mindset helps make tasks manageable and gives you a sense of achievement.
Look out for
Our perfectly imperfect garden - there will always be weeds, plants going to seed and things that need doing! 😅
For sale on the day
A marrow - A little on the plump side and a quiet achiever.