Sara Ward

THE GOOD LIFE

Country Living (UK) - - ALLOTMENT SHOWS -

Over the past few years, I have been a judge at our lo­cal al­lot­ment show in west London. I’ve al­ways ad­mired the com­mu­nity spirit among plothold­ers, and throw­ing a lit­tle com­pe­ti­tion into the mix can re­ally stoke the fire of am­bi­tion even within the most unas­sum­ing of gar­den­ers. Be­fore this, my sole ex­pe­ri­ence of show­cas­ing my har­vest was at the Na­tional Honey Show, where bee­keep­ers can en­ter lo­cal, na­tional and world­wide classes, sub­mit­ting their honey, wax, mead, can­dles, bakes and pre­serves to the scru­tiny of highly trained ad­ju­di­ca­tors (who will dis­qual­ify a jar be­fore even open­ing it, sim­ply be­cause they spot a thumbprint on the lid…).

The first year I entered a class at the Na­tional Honey Show, I had no idea of the level of pre­ci­sion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism that gov­erns such an in­sti­tu­tion – I sim­ply did as I was told by my lo­cal bee­keep­ing as­so­ci­a­tion. Call it begin­ner’s luck: I went on to win Best Honey in London. Now

Sara and her fam­ily have trans­formed the gar­den of their Vic­to­rian ter­race house into a mini small­hold­ing, com­plete with 24 hens, three colonies of bees, a kitchen gar­den and a mi­cro-bak­ery (hen­corner.com)

LO­CA­TION

Brent­ford, west London

PLOT SIZE

475 square me­tres

EX­PE­RI­ENCE

Sara started farm­ing in her gar­den in 2007 with veg­eta­bles, later fol­lowed by hens, fruit trees and bees

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