The Straw Cottage

eco-accommodation and growing experiments on a small scale


I have lived on a farm all my life but it wasn’t until travelling on a Nuffield Farming Scholarship that I really started to think about food production. My study topic was straw bale building – after having built two straw bale holiday cottages on the farm (after having given up 20 years working in finance to study natural building!). During my travels I began to question the food systems I had always taken for granted.

Reading the mainstream farming press in the UK these days, it seems almost a given that GM is the only way to “feed a growing population”. I find this stance very alarming – so I decided to write this blog as I delve deeper into all manner of food related issues. It usually takes me a long time to think my way through any subject so I hope you will be patient with me. All feedback and pointers, gratefully received!

When studying environmental architecture, I learned most by just getting stuck into building with straw. So, in summer 2013 I just got stuck into growing vegetables. A very basic place to start, I know and I am well aware that I am a complete novice compared to many a seasoned farmer or gardener reading this – but it seemed a good enough place to get started.

This blog will discuss what I have grown and the yields obtained. I will try to understand successes and failures a like, ask questions about all sorts of food related things and plan experiments for future years. I will also review books and articles etc and share a few recipes.


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