The best place physically is probably on the bank at the edge of the field behind the shed with the corrugated iron roof that we bought from Serge. It's roughly half way between the cottage and the house, so wherever we are living it's not too far to walk to get fresh veg. It's a good sunny position too with no overhanging trees and reasonably close to the underground water tank down at the cottage.
But it's also a sandstone outcrop, the soil isn't good and the veg wouldn't thrive there. So it would mean making raised beds of quite some height to give the plants a good root depth before they hit the sandstone. And the beds would need filling with earth from elsewhere, which all begins to sound like hard work. I don't do "hard work" if I can help it.
The alternative location is up by the house at the back, alongside what I laughingly call "the orchard" - two elderly plum trees, a suspect mirabelle, a sour cherry and a doubtful perry pear tree. At the moment the possible veg garden is a lawn. The soil is good and it's sheltered from the north by the wood store and the east by the house. But there's a large silk tree shading it and the old fosse septique tank is still underground in the middle. Also, it's as far away as you can get from the cottage, so a trek for any friend staying there who thinks: "great I'll just go and pick a few French beans for lunch". And they probably wouldn't anyway, because they would be entering what they would think of as "our" private space alongside the house.
On balance, the sandstone bank and raised beds is probably the better option.
Now is the time to be doing it - building the beds, filling them with soil and compost and deciding what goes where. But I'm still dithering. Maybe because the last time I had a veg patch I was working full time and the gardening just became a burden every evening and weekend. And I gave up. It's that "gave-up-ness" I can still feel.
Then there's the reason why we're considering it .... The media and the forums are full of anxiety about what is going to happen in the eurozone and what our world will be like in the future. Doomsday scenarios are being written and there is talk of needing to be self-sufficient when the financial and economic world collapses around us.... that doesn't seem to be a joyous and uplifting reason to have a veg patch.
Better to focus on the delicious River Cottage veg dishes I've been cooking and think how much nicer they will be when I can just walk outside and pick my own basketful of organic vegetables fresh.
The vegetable garden I had ... before I gave up