For years Sue Doughty has understood the principles of Feng Shui and helped her partner Thomas Coxan achieve great things for his clients – in both personal and professional areas of their lives.

More recently Sue has been learning to work in unison with Mother Nature and apply very natural processes to produce healthy, organic and tasty produce on her allotment.

Sue told us  ‘One of the most rewarding things I have come to do in my life is to grow my own fruit and veg.

Even most of the organic fruit and veg in the supermarkets taste bland compared to what you can grow yourself, there is nothing like the taste and the satisfaction of a home grown carrot pulled straight out of the ground.

Other benefits include being in nature and connecting to Mother Earth. It’s also very good for grounding and is a fantastic to relax, especially if you have a busy lifestyle.  The physical benefits are super too – what better way to exercise than to be in the fresh air?  And of course you are getting free vitamin D, by being in the sun. Research has shown that being in the sun for 30 minutes a day is enough to absorb 20.000 to 30,00 IU’s a day.

When I first started to grow my own veg on my allotment, I didn’t have a clue what to do. I looked around at the other plots and asked other plot holders lots of questions, how they grew their veg etc. I also did many hours of research on the internet. My first year on the allotment didn’t go very well, I found the digging hard work and the weeds seemed to grow so fast but gradually I experimented with different methods of growing and soon I was in the flow.

Planting by the Moon

Over the years I have found that everything (including the weeds) seems to grow twice as fast from April to June – the time of the full moon.

The Star Rhythm

The power of working in unison with the planets and the four elements has brought me terrific results – it is more fully explained in ‘Gardening and Planting by the Moon’ by Nick Kollerstrom. Essentially the following applies;

The earth element would be a root day.

The water element would be a leaf day.

The air element would be a flower day.

The fire would be a fruit day.

I find when I work with these systems I get into the natural rhythm and flow and things tend to get done on time.

No Dig

Under the, soil is a whole eco system designed to grow perfect fruit and veg so why do so many people dig and poison the soil? Digging and putting weed killer on the soil, destroys the eco system.

Most of my allotment plot now is made up of raised beds, using the ‘no dig’ method – the results are truly amazing.

The king of ‘No Dig’ has to be Charles Dowding. I did a weekend course with him last year. You just have to see his place to believe it,  every plant seems so healthy.  By using has method of gardening, there is hardly any weeding to be done.  Charles has written many interesting books on this subject, his latest title is “Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Garden Diary”. His website www.charlesdowding.co.uk shows how to make a no dig raised bed in a day, a great project that all the family can get involved in.

Permaulture

Seven years ago I completed a Permaculture Design Course with Aranya at Ourganics Evoling Systems in Dorset www.designedvisions. The classroom was a yurt, the shower was at the end of a poly tunnel, the kitchen was outside and we had our breakfast around a fire pit every morning. It was truly a magical experience.

The ethics of Permaculture are Care of the Earth, Care of the People and Fair Share.  There are also twelve principles which are designed to help you be more efficient in life. Visit www.permacultureprinciples.com for more information.

I created an ‘Edible Forest Garden’ on the community allotment where I have been working as a volunteer for the past six years. Most of the plants in the garden are edible or are designed to feed the other plants in the system.

By working with Mother Earth, I feel that it is possible to tune in to all her wisdom. She knows all the secrets of growing tasty veg!

Sue Doughty

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