You will know us through the Cornish Food Box Company as Newlina Produce, providing you with salad and stir fry bags, rainbow chard and kales among other things. Recently we changed our name to Eco-Gardens and we thought you might like to read about some of our experiences as Eco-Gardeners. We have been growing produce eco-logically for 11 years now and this means we are learning all the time new ways to co-operate with nature to grow healthy vegetables.
Part of being Eco-Gardeners, as you likely know, is providing habitat for wildlife. We do this because we feel it is important that wildlife have places to live in this world, where habitats are so depleted but also because wildlife can help us with our gardening. Here’s how we help the sparrows AND they help us!..
“An Episode of Sparrows.”
All along our borders and hedges we have been growing some great habitat for birds. Evergreens are great for all year round cover from predators. We have seen the sparrows nipping into the hedge as the shadow of the sparrow-hawk looms overhead. Of course occasionally a sparrow is caught. The sparrow-hawk has to eat too after all!
We have also supplied some extra help and enticements to keep the sparrows resident- and not just visiting. The growing community of house sparrows made good use of our bird boxes over the winter. They crowded in chirruping and chirping loudly having some proper house parties. It must have been snug during the coldest times for them. When spring began we noticed that the party mood lifted and and fights broke out over who had the rights to the houses. Then the victors set about bringing nesting materials in and no doubt the eggs will hatch soon- more sparrows for the community.
Over the winter the bird tables and feeders have been constantly well stocked. This keeps the birds alive but in the summer we don’t need to feed them anymore. There are plenty of insects in the hedgerows but also in our fields and poly-tunnels. Last Summer our head gardener noticed a large number of caterpillars had hatched on our Kale in the poly-tunnel. The next day he went into the tunnel bright and early to do the meticulous job of picking off the caterpillars before they made lace-work of the kale. He was greeted by a chirruping crew of sparrows who were just finishing off the juicy pests for breakfast. That’s what we, at the Eco-Gardens, call pest control…