The story

I have access to, though I don't own, an acre and eleven perches in windswept West Kerry. A perch is about 5.5 yards but varies from country to country. It's plenty to be going on with anyway. The land has been mostly ignored and neglected for the past fifteen years so briers and fuchsia have proliferated. The skutch grass has dug in and I even had trouble finding the mains because it was buried under years of debris.

The plan is to grow food and use the land sustainably. I don't have central heating and can't afford to buy much fuel so I'll be using the brush I clear to heat the house. Eventually, I'd like to organise fruit plants and trees into an orchard.

Last year I hacked out some furrows and had lettuce, onions, broccoli and a few other plants. I have a polythene greenhouse and that contained tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes and basil.

These attempts were a partial success although the tomatoes got blight; the cucumbers were bitter because I forgot to pinch out the male flowers; and half the courgettes rotted on the plant because I couldn't handle the numbers.

This year things will be better!