Peek through the kitchen window of any rural idyll this week and you’ll find kitchen gardeners across the land hunched over their heirloom kitchen table, graph paper and seed packets spread about, Labrador at their feet, aga keeping them warm. Ok perhaps it’s not quite that Country Living. But now is the season for veg growers to pour over seed catalogues with Gollum-like obsessiveness and dream of just how perfect their veg patch will be. And the weather is certainly lending itself to sitting by the fire with gardening books and colouring pencils.

Which is mostly what I’ve been doing of an evening lately. Last year I was taken in by the bright lights of the Garden Plan Pro app and drew my patch plan on the computer. You can see it here – very practical. But a bit soulless. This year I want low tech – thumbed catalogues, rulers, hot chocolate by the fire whilst I refer to my Alan Titchmarsh book. Back to the land and boo to labour-saving devices (sometimes). But mostly I don’t want to make a political point with my veg patch planning. Mostly I want to do some colouring in.

So here it is. The Luddite 2015 patch plan. (And can I say, colouring in a veg patch plan is the most therapeutic thing I’ve experienced in a long time. So ditch the computer and rob a small child of their crayons.):

patch 2015 TF

patch 2015 RB

In the main patch up at Farmer Brown’s place I’m taking a slightly different approach. Rather than a bit of everything, I’m focusing on higher volumes of fewer crops. Though I might experiment with more than one variety.

And no spuds! I’ve had enough. They take up so much space. They disintegrate when I cook them (yes, even if I cure them in the sun before I store them). I skewer most of them with the fork when I harvest them. And I hardly use any anyway. So they’re out.

Also, I’m trying the Three Sisters combo for the first time too. This is an ancient Native American technique of growing sweetcorn, fine green beans and squash together. The idea is that you plant the sweetcorn in blocks (has to be blocks rather than lines as sweetcorn is wind pollinated and if it’s in a line the chances of the wind blowing along the line rather than through it are pretty slim and your cobs won’t set). The beans climb up the sweetcorn and help anchor the fragile plants into the ground. Then the squash grows between the sweetcorn, rambling its way around the soil, keeping weeds down and soil moist. We’ll see…

The other big change is that the satellite patch, which are the raised beds in my back garden, are being given over almost entirely to fruit. Perhaps it’s the arrival of the Nutribullet at G&G Towers, but I have a craving for a good fruit harvest. Plus a friendly neighbour gave me some spare plants and Santa brought me a plum tree – what nice men.

You’ll also notice that I’ve got space left over. This is my new spot for any whims or impulse buys I make whilst browsing seed racks in garden shops. It’s become a necessity after that time I bought a job lot of angelica seedlings because they we on offer and they took over the patch…

As usual, I’ll keep you posted with progress and changes. And however organised I vow to be, there will no doubt still be gluts. But then there wouldn’t be gluttony without them would there?…