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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Growing vegetables
...Timing your veg
...In heavy Soil
...In light Soil
...With Organic Manure
>..Your enemies & friends
...After germination
...Presenting the product
...Specialist veg
...Sprouts to Endive
...Eggplant to Salsify
...Sea Kale etc

One creature that anyone cultivating does not want to destroy is the earthworm.

If you have applied generous quantities of manure, you will certainly increase this useful creature's numbers. The earthworm obligingly cultivates deep down into your soil by his continual ingesting and passing out of the soil.

'Baddies' in the vegetables such as slugs can be disposed of using proprietary killers or more profitably by letting egg-laying ducks do the work for you. The duck eats the slug (she loves the succulent beasts) and will give you eggs in return. Chickens love slugs too, but they will also eat your vegetables. Just a sprinkling of ducks keeps the ecological system working to your advantage. Instead of all that digging in the winter, you could let a few free-range pigs do a lot of the work for you. You can also use goats to eat their way deep into scrub and brambles. This all depends on whether you want to integrate different areas of production or not.

Planning a kind of animal-assisted ideal life is very useful to fill in wet days when you cannot get on to the land. Of course, once you have committed yourself to the livestock you must be out irrespective of the weather. That is always a point worth remembering.