How well do kiwis grow in the UK?
John Langford from Cornwall noticed kiwis apparently doing well at Stourhead Gardens in the west country. He asked the National Trust head gardener there for some information. Advice on the climbing layer for a forest garden often includes kiwis, but how realistic is this in the UK? There were several comments from FG forum members about successful growing of fruiting kiwis in South Devon and Brighton, but some definitive information has now been supplied from Stourhead. Here is the original query from John and the helpful reply from National Trust Head Gardener Alan Power.
Edulis Nursery - Mid-Welsh Inspiration
Berkshire-based Edulis Nursery was set up by Landscape Architect Paul Barney in 1993. Much of the reasons and inspiration for setting up the nursery came from his time spent in Machynlleth, Powys. Paul started gardening very young and was infused with organic principles by his father. Growing vegetables started in The Walled Garden that now is home to Edulis. Following a B.Sc(Hons) in Biology & Geology at Oxford Polytechnic in the early 80s, Paul grew organic vegetables for local restaurants and private clients. In 1984, he was offered a post to research organic farming and horticulture at Aberystwyth University. There was a reluctance to accept Organic Principles within the Agriculture Dept so Paul moved to the Centre of Alternative Technology in 1985. Here, he found a number of like minded and enthusiastic practioners, that inspired Paul to develop his interest in Permaculture. He attended the first Permaculture Design course in the UK at Venton Mill, run by Andy Langford and Lea Harrison.
Permaculture principles inspired Paul in a large number of his landscape designs and forestry schemes that he undertook as Dyfi Landscapes. A number of these are maturing these days. Especially forestry planted in the 80s at Dynyn, Eglwys Fach, & Derwenlas. Also a forest garden at Abercegir, Nr. Machynlleth. The use of nitrogen-fixing nurse trees was key in creating shelter on exposed Mid-Welsh hillsides. Fast growing non-natives like Alnus incana and cordata provided the shelter necessary to establish Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea) and Ash (Fraxinus excelsior).
Review: Making the impossible possible with Permaculture for people
People and Permaculture' by Looby Macnamara
£19.95 pp 296
'Begin and the impossible becomes possible' is the quote from Thomas Carlyle which confronts me on the opening pages of People and Permaculture. I was reluctant to have to read it with an eye to reviewing. Read it, yes! But the thought of reviewing felt daunting. I had been warned when given the task, 'It is good to keep in mind that all sorts of famous people have already said the book is brilliant and innovatory. What matters now is if it makes sense and a difference to the rest of us (who are not famous and don't know much but would like to).
So I come to this as 'one of the rest of us': my mind already awash with Permaculture ideas, in my wild bit of Welsh hillside, struggling to interpret its 'zones', 'systems' and 'functions', and design its ethics and principles. Is this to be another overloading of knowledge weighing down my under-loaded experience? But the title begins with the word 'People'. Looby clearly had the 'rest of us' in her heart and mind. There are so many now who have been touched by the ancient and prescient wisdom of Permaculture, and struggle to interpret it into the clutter and concerns of our present lives. With her vast knowledge and her deep involvement in teaching and practice, Looby brings a personal compass to each of us. Where are we at? What edges have we touched? What issues have we wanted to fight for? Where has our personal wisdom, maturity and experience been stretched and found lacking?
Towards a sustainable world economy
A campaign for debt amnesty
This information is from the Jubilee Debt campaign. I receive information from them because I am a member of the World Development Movement.. They are talking about the world banking system and the debts incurred by the poorest people in the world. This is what they say:
"Around the world debt is causing immense suffering yet again. Europe faces a debt crisis, unemployment, homelessness and social breakdown. Some vulture funds are making a killing out of this misery.
Lin Scrannage reflects on the continuing local agenda after last summer's highly successful Presteigne Food Trail
I know that what is happening to the banking system at the moment is currently focusing peoples' attention, but it looks like it is set to come crashing down like a pack of cards (for those who haven't yet got their heads around fractional reserve banking and how our world has got caught up in the greed of it all, ''Zeigeist Addendum'' explains it well - one of the Zeitgeist movies - free to download). If and when the SHTF, then what? It's all very well having set up a local money system but you can't eat money.