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This site has not been updated since 2014 and is being maintained as an archive for now. As time allows we'll be weeding out the dated material and presenting the many useful articles in a new format. We'd appreciate any feedback on what you find most useful on this site via our contact page.

Guest Writers

The Full Permaculture Experience

Cas Wainwright went on a full 2 week intensive Permaculture Design Course earlier this year. Cas Lives in Llanfyllin, and was fortunate enough to find a course right on her doorstep as part of the Workhouse restoration project. This is her account of the experience.

My curiosity and interest in Permaculture was inspired by watching “A Farm for the Future”, a BBC 2 Natural world programme screened earlier this year. The film covered the basics of peak oil and permaculture as film maker Rebecca Hosking investigated how to transform her family's farm in Devon into a low-energy farm for the future.

Concerned as I am about the issues of climate change, peak oil and our ability to grow enough food in an ethical, humane way that is kind to the environment I was delighted to find

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Sheet Mulching for Beginners

Using Bill Mollison’s Recommendations

This season I began to put into practice what I had learned on the Permaculture Design Course about mulching and no-dig cultivation.  I wanted to begin experimenting with this approach, not only because it saves hours of backbreaking work and minimises watering, but because it improves poor soil and suppresses weeds.

On our site we are dealing with thin soil, a thirty-degree slope, a big couch grass issue, and a tendency to back problems in the gardener, so it all seemed worth trying. Armed with what I had learned, plus further research into the recommendations of Permaculture guru, Bill Mollison, I set about creating new beds on land that had been uncultivated for at least 100 years, when the longhouse was last known to have been inhabited.

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Take one Dutch barge, and add a compost loo

A recipe for sustaining domestic harmony afloat

by Simon Myers

of Gaiaspace Structures

I recently installed a compost toilet system on our Dutch barge. In the research phase I amassed a quantity of useful information on the various benefits, features, suppliers and publication to do with this.  Here is some of the information I have found whilst researching what compost toilet system we were going to use on our boat.

Principles

Compost toilets are often built with two chambers for simplicity of construction and operation. The two chambers are used alternately; decomposition continuing in the full one until it is emptied just prior to the other one becoming full. Each chamber has its own opening for removal of mature, non-odorous compost. Some types of compost toilet batch the waste in movable receptacles on trolleys or turntables whilst others generate the compost slowly and continuously as the material progresses through the device. Some require electricity for small heating elements (in cold climates) or fans (to ensure a positive airflow through the system). Some compost toilets combine the urine and faeces whilst others separate them. The compost formed by the combination of urine and faeces is better but these toilets are more likely to smell if used carelessly and they require much greater quantities of carbonaceous residues like sawdust and straw. Some of the more complex types require dry access under the toilet via a basement or cellar room.


Options

These options offer high performance within small self contained units and come in a  range

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Summer Seed Sowing

The Summer Sowing Guide
for the second sowing time of the year

People often ask us what they should be sowing from June on through the summer.

So, we've tried to list here the main things that we'll be sowing from midsummer onwards into the autumn for a good supply of vegetables right through the winter and into next spring.

Don't be put off summer / autumn sowings if you don't have a polytunnel or greenhouse, most of these veggies will grow outdoors quite happily outside in most of the country.

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Autumn & Winter Planting

What to sow from autumn through into winter

Although the main sowing times are springtime and then late summer, there are quite a few things that you can sow in the autumn and winter-time, particularly salad leaves and greens

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