Food production in the backyard garden and allotment by an always realistic and often heretical gardener with a no nonsense attitude.

Self sufficient gardening

by John Hayes
Making charcoal to profit from the land


Image above: 8 cubic metre charcoal burner making hardwood lump charcoal. Gardeners are busy people but they often find themselves in a position where…

My homemade plum and sloe gins


The header image above is the difference between last years damson (lighter colour) and Sloe (Darker colour) Gins. I make quite a few of…

Broccolli growing on my allotment


What is allotment?An allotment garden or community garden plot is a piece of land allocated or rented to an individual to allow them to…

A young courgette growing in my polytunnel


This site is dedicated to the home vegetable gardener and was created to be a simple, realistic and practical guide to growing a vegetable…

The raised beds in my backyard garden


The soil on your land is of vital importance and will have a big influence on how well your crops do. Therefore its important…

My biggest ever pumpkin


My name is John Hayes. I grew my first tomatoes when I was 9 and I have grown vegetables and fruit in North Yorkshire…