The fall of the market garden.

Grundeys Smallholding S Yorkshire

“What shall we have for tea”

Let me think EEErrr “salad”

“Can you go down to The Grundey’s on your bike, here is some money”.

This conversation does not happen now, the Grundey’s of the past don’t exist any longer, the market gardens and the Smallholding’s have gone.

We supplied salads (Tomatoes,Lettuce, Cucumbers, Beetroot, Onions etc.), Beans, Soft fruit, Mushrooms, Cut flowers, Eggs and Pigs that were slaughtered locally.

Every village had its smallholding or market garden usually run by a family. Even small towns had several Market Garden’s operating.

The use of cheap fuel to deliver to supermarkets, very cheap food, world wide food corporations, peoples expectations of eating none seasonal food and legislation made the market Garden’s and Smallholding’s no longer viable.

Children don’t cycle out on errands now to buy local food.

My Parents only moved from this smallholding 15 years ago after 30 years. The site now has an extended house and horses on the 4.5 acres. The site now is a consumer not a producer of food and resources.

Perhaps in another 15 years the small Market Garden and Smallholder will be back due to Peak oil


We need to make a succession sowing of lettuce so three weeks ago we bought a £ 1.30 packet of lettuce seeds and sowed them in a seed tray and placed it in one of our mini greenhouses.

The plants are now large enough to prick off. We fill some seed trays with general purpose compost.

I find that the dibbers you buy in a garden center are to big so we use a thin piece of cane.

Firm down the compost and you are ready.

Loosen a seedling woth the dibber HOLDING the leaf not the stem, if you break the stem the plant is dead.

Make a hole in the newley filled seed tray and push in the roots using the dibber then push in some compost.

Here is the finished tray

The figures are seed 1.30 Compost 3.00 total 4.30 Seedlings pricked off 365 If we are sucessfull in growing them all its 1.8p each. As this was a big batch we have given 100 away and the remaining plants will be use in our garden shares.

Finished tray