This was an exciting participatory research project. The first stage of the research was undertaken in 2011 in partnership with Cumbria University. 50 association members partcipated in the trials. The basic idea was to test growing annual vegetables within a polyculture approach - growing them all together rather than in lines or blocks. Read the booklet to find out more about mixed veg gardening.
You can read the results from the trials here.
Our collaboration in GROW Observatory offered a new opportunity to take part in a mixed veg experiment - this one compared polycultures and monocultures. The experiment started from 1 May 2018 and finished after final harvests that autumn. You can find out more here. In 2019 we began another citizen research polyculture experiment which is open for participation - find out more here.
Thanks to the original Mixed Veg working group - Naomi van der Velden, Tomas Remiarz, Roz Brown, Ian Fitzpatrick and Andy Goldring - to Garden Organic for their insights in how to run member experiments, and to the following seed companies for providing free seed for the trials:
- Edwin Tucker & sons LTD
- Beans and Herbs at The Herbary
- Garden Organic Ryton
- Chase Organics LTD.
Some of the original inspiration for the Mixed Veg project came from Nepal, and the Farmers Handbook developed by Chris Evans. Feel free to use this information to run your own experiment - if you do, please do send us your results and experiences.