workday 2 at our shared allotment

We had another productive day and an enjoyable shared lunch.

The allotment is coming on very well, though there is still much to do.  During the session  Katie 1 and Katie 2 helped, and me and my Rosie (4) and Nick and Ivar.  It was a bit hot (!) but luckily we were able to shelter in the shade under the neighbour’s fruit trees at lunchtime.

stroud permaculture group shared allotment our second workday
The front half of the allotment is now quite tidy, but the back half (not shown) still needs a lot of work.  Hopefully we can have another session at it soon and some more people might like to come and see what’s going on and lend a hand.

If we can get it tidied up this year, then hopefully next season we can begin to focus on trying/demonstrating a more permacultural approach. It’s a lovely spot and will be a great asset for our group meetings, courses, and awareness raising.

— Peter

Oppose Hinkley C proposed new nuclear power station

We have several nuclear power stations near us on the Severn, and evil EDF is trying to build a new one, Hinkley C.  I plan to join a 24 hour blockade protest there in March on the anniversary of the Fukoshima disaster. Usually I base my objection to nuclear power on the terrifying danger of nuclear accidents, but let’s not forget the ludicrous financial cost of nuclear. If I told you that 55% of the department of Energy’s entire budget this year is going on decommisioning and cleaning up old nuclear power stations, you’d think I was making it up, but sadly no. Next year, it will be two thirds of the department of energy’s budget. Private companies develop nuclear power, and the govt is left with the bill for cleaning up. And some people try to tell us that renewable energy is uneconomic because green energy is currently helped by a small levy on brown energy. The link below is to Hansard where Chris Hughne gives the figures above.

Find out more about the blockade of Hinkley nuclear power station on 10/11 March here:

(Sorry this post isn’t about nice cuddly plants and gardening… but remember the Permaculture motto: Earth Care, People Care, Fair Shares!  Most of my posts will be about nice stuff, I promise)   – Peter

Home grown olives and mushrooms – hopefully.

Having sort of finished a stressful project yesterday I was in an indulgent mood.  My ramblings, as they often do, took me into Wilkinsons (the shop in the Merrywalks centre).  They have lots of exciting and cheap plants in.  I KNOW that cheap plants, like everything else, usually means that the environment or even human rights are being trashed somewhere, and in this case I guess the source will be polluting heated dutch greenhouses.  Caveat emptor.
However, they have lots of fruit bushes in little boxes for about £2, and TREES in little boxes for about £4.  As they have only recently arrived in the shop the new season bushes and trees (and onion sets, shallots, potatoes, asparagus roots etc) are in OK condition and not yet dead, which does tend to happen to plants in such shops.
So I bought myself an olive tree (I’d yearned for one for ages) and a lemon tree.
I also bought a packet of mushroom spore from the seed department – I don’t recall having seen that for sale before in a shop, and had been meaning for years to have a go at mushroom cultivation.

Just thought I’d share this in case anyone else is a sucker for bushes and trees in little boxes (it sort of feels like ‘saving’ them when you give them a home).  Incidentally, my fruit bushes normally come from my own cuttings, and if anyone has patience I’m glad to take some for you in the autumn.

Does anyone have any experience with growing olive trees or lemon trees?  Obviously I’m planning to pot them up and keep them in a sheltered place, but I would SO love one day to be able to pick some home grown olives or lemons.  And any hints or experience with mushroom cultivation?


getting the year off to a good start

So, on January 1st 2012, I

  • pruned my soft fruit bushes
  • weeded my nine-month-old asparagus bed (only 15 months to go until first harvest!)
  • transplanted lovely self-sown borage plants – it looks like I’ll have lots of huge borage plants for the bees again this summer
  • harvested a tiny cauliflower
  • …then back at home I learned to use a sewing machine, and set up a Stroud Permaculture Group website

Not a bad day’s work 🙂

– Peter  (maybe members would like to blog on this site about their permaculture activities?  If so, just contact me and I’ll set you up with a username for the site).