Permaculture is a way of growing and living that has recently received an increasing amount of publicity, ‘but what is Permaculture?’ We hear you cry… Well in essence it is a method of growing which is self supporting and self sustaining. Rather than creating work by trying to control the vegetable plants we grow, growing to permaculture principles means following natures rules rather than our own. For example, peas and beans can grow up the stalks of corn plants, and one of my favourite permaculture based phrases – You don’t have an excess of slugs; you have a shortage of ducks.
Category Archives for Self-Sufficiency
A hairdresser from Shropshire has put down his scissors and comb and picked up a bucket and shovel. Derick Eggerton from Pickstock near Newport is showing his Gloucester Old Spot pigs at the Newport show on 14th July.
The minds behind the Self Sufficient-ish website, which aims to help people find out about becoming more self sufficient and live a lower impact lifestyle whilst still enjoying the conveniences of modern life have published their pearls of wisdom in The Self Sufficient-ish Bible.
Britain’s declining bee numbers have been cause for concern but the new beehive by Omlet could be the answer for boosting bee populations. The beehaus, backed by Natural England, is being dubbed as the urban beehive and has been designed to make it easy to keep bees in a garden or on a rooftop, helping ensure pollination of fruit and vegetables and providing up to 50 jars of honey over the summer.
So after months of wondering, waiting, trekking up and down to the farm where the troublesome trio spend their days frolicking in the field, it turns out that our lovely four year old pygmy crossed with toggenburg goat Lily was just kidding all along.
Film director Guy Ritchie has submitted proposals to make Ashcombe House in Wiltshire “more self-sufficient”. 40 year old Ritchie received the home as part of the settlement following his split with Queen of pop Madonna and is looking to put plans into place that will make the 18th Century estate, worth £9 million, a greener, more sustainable place to live.
National Trust has joined with Natural England to begin a project to bring awareness and conservation to the traditional orchard. Traditional orchards are in danger of becoming a thing of the past, with most fruit trees now being grown intensively with the use of chemicals and small scale fruit producers having been hit by difficult economic situations over the years.
For a few years now alpacas have been increasing in popularity, mainly because of their sought-after fleeces which are much softer than sheeps wool, and you have to admit, they are beautiful looking animals to have around too. The popularity of alpaca wool is largely thanks to Sir Titus Salt, a Yorkshire born entrepreneur who joined his father in the wool trade at the age of 18, who discovered the fleece for sale at Liverpool docks. He went on to create garments with the fleece which were popular with the upper class and from this went on to build his own mill.
Last night a new series, Countrywise, launched on ITV showcasing what “makes Britain tick”. The programme, the first in a 36 episode series, focuses on different aspects of the Great British Countryside and is presented by Paul Heiney. As well as providing viewers with a reminder of the beauty and hidden gems to visit within the UK, each episode includes a short feature, ‘Country Champions’, celebrating people who practice traditional skills and crafts that all too often get forgotten or lost. Tonight’s programme focussed on hurdlemaking.
The programme told the story of Alan Brown, a 70 year old 6th generation hurdle maker from Dorset who crafts hurdles from his own hazel coppice. Alan sells the hurdles mainly for use in gardens now, however he advises that there are still the odd sheep hurdles sold for lambing pens on farms. The programme also shows his son, who is also a trained hurdle maker, but unfortunately he was forced to seek work elsewhere as making hurdles was not profitable enough. Mr Brown explains that imported hurdles tend to be made using full lengths of wood often held together with nails, whereas his traditional hurdles are made from split lengths of the wood and are held together by their own strength in the way the hurdle itself is constructed.
Chicken seems to be flavour of the month for many urban dwelling Americans at the moment, and according to The Globe and Mail, Vancouver is fast on the way to becoming the next place where keeping chickens is high on the agenda.
The city council has approved plans to allow people to keep chickens in the city, which will mean fresh eggs and the enjoyment of keeping animals (and increasing that sense of self sufficiency) will be a welcome addition to many families’ lives. Until now it has been illegal for people to keep chickens in their back yards, and many people feel this will be a great way for people to make a connection with the environment and a return to the more traditional ways of obtaining food.
The move to legalise keeping chickens in the city has received its share of opposition however, with comments being received from both the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the British Columbia Poultry Association warning that the move may send out the wrong message to people who then take on chickens without considering the practicalities and responsibilies involved, such as caring for them in general, housing, dealing with illness and ensuring safety from predators. City Councillor Andrea Reimer who proposed the plans in the first place argues however that anybody who has kept dogs or cats would be capable of learning to care for chickens.