“Everyone deserves a meal” is one of the mottos of organic gardener Sarah Mead as she tackles garden pests – and is the thread running through this month’s podcast.
Fiona takes a tour of Sarah’s beautiful, Soil Association-certified organic garden at Yeo Valley dairy farm in Blagdon, and find out how she works alongside wildlife rather than trying to eradicate pests.
“It’s critical to leave things alone so you don’t break the food chain because once you’ve done that you’ve lost the battle,” says Sarah, who uses sacrificial plants, companion planting and copper tape to help manage whitefly, slugs and other challenges in the six-and-a-half-acre garden.
“Organic gardening is all about being hands off. It’s less work in the long run: less digging, less mowing, less spraying. It can be done on a large scale or a small one. Just start by apply one principle and keep going.”
To mark Veganuary, Fiona and Chris also discuss veganic gardening, and moving away from animal-based ingredients in the garden. They touch on the value of plant-based diets that encourage us to grow and eat more vegetables, which are great for our health and for biodiversity.
And they also share their love of feeding the birds in winter - and look forward to Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of this month.