Using organic and biodynamic methods our gardeners seek to work with nature to limit damage from pests and plant disease, rather than to control nature using artificial chemical inputs. We believe that healthy crops bare a direct correlation to the health of the soil they are grown in. Traditional techniques, such as crop rotation, companion planting, mulching and composting, all combine to protect and feed the soil and encourage a diverse community of beneficial microbial life. Green manures are used to improve soil fertility and structure, and to prevent leaching over the Winter. The regular use of biodynamic preparations further stimulates and supports the soil food web. Growing conditions in the garden are enhanced by the use of the Biodynamic Growing and Planting Calendar, fine tuning the way we work with root, fruit, leaf and flower crops for added flavour, vigour and storability. In October 2019 we began to reinstate a 4-acre field on the farm into vegetable production. This is a work in progress and will enable us to increase the amount of food we can grow to feed more people.
In the Kitchen Garden the use of open pollinated and heritage seed varieties is key, allowing us to save seed for future years and helping our plants to adapt to the growing conditions here at Waltham. Our aim is to find varieties that thrive in our soils and perform well. The Kitchen Garden also grows crops for seed production, under contract to The Seed Co-operative.