The Hebridean growing season is short and increasingly variable. Though the weather is generally mild, strong winds are not confined to the winter months and this, along with cool summer temperatures, means that many fruits and vegetables cannot be grown outdoors. Glasshouses and standard polytunnels can suffer a grievous fate in all but the most sheltered spots. The perfect solution for the Hebridean croft is the polycrub: built with sturdy polycarbonate sheets on a frame of heavy-duty plastic piping recycled from fish farms. The pipes are embedded into concrete and so the whole structure is capable of withstanding hurricane-force winds.
This means that I can grow a wide variety of tender veg, herbs, fruits and flowers. Outdoor flowers and veg can get an early start indoors and tomatoes and peppers enjoy the long hours of light in summer. There are also many varieties of veg, salads and herbs that can be grown and harvested through the winter months.