The barren landscape of Slaithwaite Moor is being turned into a booming allotment paradise, thanks to the work of a dedicated duo.

Pumpkins, salad, fruit and even sunflowers have blossomed on a former wasteland on the site of an abandoned house in New Hey Road, since travelling couple Kali Prajita and Prajna Pranab moved to squat on the site in their caravans in January.

It marks the beginning of an ambitious transformation of the semi-hidden roughly quarter of an acre garden, which the pair hope will eventually allow them to live fully off the land.

Kali, 46, said: “Our aim is to create a place where we can live an entirely self sufficient life.

“Although the sign has said ‘Pennine Eco Village’ for several years, this is the first time that anyone has begun to turn that into a reality but we are changing the name to the ‘Diggers Alternative Community’.

“We moved here in winter but thanks to the help of friends we have managed to create a wonderful allotment, which now gives us vegetables and fruit

“People may think that it would be impossible to grow so many crops on the moor but this proves that it can be done.”

She and Prajna have used a method called hugelkultur, which refers to using hill mounds made out of organic garden waste as a bed for crops.

“At the moment we also eat good food that gets thrown out from supermarkets that our friends find but hope that with a bit more work we will be able to live off what we grow.”

Well-designed wood chip paths weave around the beds to a greenhouse that was built out of recycled windows, a good example of what the mantra, make do and mend.

The Diggers' Alternative Community, Scammonden. Kali Prajita pictured with a pumpkin grown using a composting process known as hugelkultur.
The Diggers' Alternative Community, Scammonden. Kali Prajita pictured with a pumpkin grown using a composting process known as hugelkultur.
 

A water collection point and veranda are also on the site, as well as a new patch of nettles which Kali hopes to use to make fabrics but she has many more plans up her sleeve.

Kali and Prajna live in two small caravans, which they are in the process of hooking up to a solar panel and are devoting all their time to their project.

It is the latest preoccupation for the two, who are also staging an ongoing protest about their right to reject the British tax system and live totally self-sustainably.

She said: “We hope to create a compost loo and are even trying to work out if we can drill a small well for fresh drinking water.

“We are not sure how long we will be allowed to stay here for but even if we go we hope that what we have created will have a lasting positive effect on the area. We are totally motivated by a desire to benefit the community and would welcome anyone who would like to help us with our project.”