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Embracing Permaculture – Interview with Simon Blackwell

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.

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cabbages and aliums

There May be Plenty of Veg…

May has to be one of my favourite months of the year, not just because it often has more reliable weather than August, or because two bank holidays give the luxury of a couple of long weekends (although the reliable weather thing doesn’t usually extend to cover the British Bank Holidays as we are often made only too aware!). No, my reason for loving May is the sight of masses of vegetable plant seedlings bursting forth from the depths of their warm compost beds.

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national allotmtent week (photograph: bmarsh011 via flickr)

National Allotment Week Encourages People To Grow Their Own

It’s National Allotment Week and across the UK different events have been taking place to spread the word about growing your own. From open days at allotment gardens across the UK to a scarecrow competition launched by an Elvis impersonating scarecrow at the Eden Project in Cornwall, and plenty more to come before the week is out.

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Lack Of Spaces To Grow Own Veg Results In Allotment Summit

Waiting lists of up to 9 years across different areas of Wales have led to calls for more to be done to increase growing spaces across the country. Growing your own vegetables is becoming ever more popular, with allotments still being the prime location for most if they can get their hands on a vacant plot.

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broad beans

Homegrown Goodness – The Start Of The Harvest

Months of preparation are beginning to pay off as the first real crops are maturing at the allotment. From the time when the tiny seeds were planted in seed trays and tended daily to see how they progressed, to planting them out in raised beds or their specific areas at the allotment, it has been a journey with both triumphs and failures and lessons learnt for next year. Growing your own vegetables is at its most rewarding however when you can begin to pick your crops and enjoy meals made up of your own fresh homegrown fruit and veg.

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Solar panels gathering light

City Of York Council Seeking £6m Funding For Eco Home Sustainable Development

City of York Council has submitted proposals for sustainable development of the former British Sugar site, currently owned by Associated British Foods. The bid for £60 million of government funding would secure the use of part of the site of the former factory to build 60 eco homes, and would put York on the map as home of one of the most environmentally friendly developments to be built in the next two to three years.

Posted in Eco HomeEnvironmental PoliticsGreen LivingGreen PlanetSustainable Development
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Container Gardening at the Staffordshire University Allotment

Tomorrow, the Staffordshire University Community Organic Gardeners will be holding a Container Gardening event at their allotment site next to Crime Scene House in Leek Road, Stoke.

The site is made up of five allotment plots and aims to provide staff and students at the University with the opportunity to get involved with the project and share the produce grown on the site. Tomorrow’s event will be aimed at introducing people to container gardening and the scope to grow your own veg no matter how much space you have at home.

In addition to this and other past events such as willow sculpture making, the site encourages staff and students to come along to the allotment site on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings between 5pm and 7pm during summer months, and Sundays from 10am to 5pm throughout the year. To read more about the Staffordshire University Allotment, visit their website.

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A Growing Concern – National Trust to Create 1000 Allotments

The National Trust has announced that over the course of the next three years, they will be working to provide 1000 new allotment sites to help eager growers get digging to provide themselves with homegrown goodness. Sites will range from smaller plots for individuals or families just getting started to larger areas suitable for community growing groups, schools and charities.

The allotment sites will be made available through the Landshare scheme set up by River Cottage Chef and Chicken Welfare Campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, which helps wannabe growers get in touch with people in their local area with spare land. The National Trust wants to help some of the 100,000 people currently on waiting lists for allotment sites to get growing, and hope that the land freed up by this new initiative will make growing your own a reality for many new gardeners.

As well as making new growing spaces available, The National Trust wants to recruit more volunteers and experienced gardeners to help the scheme by bringing knowledge and advice to those who are new to the world of veg growing.

So whether it’s the current economic situation and the subsequent tightening of purse strings that has triggered the increase in interest for allotments and homegrown veg, or because people have had enough of not knowing what chemicals their food contains, there is no arguing; thanks to The National Trust, the introduction of these new sites will be a real boost to the communities and people using them.

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