Low-impact blog

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Sep
26
2017
Jessie Watson Brown

It’s a mast year!

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nuts

In case you hadn’t noticed… it’s a mast year! Read more …

Sep
24
2017
Christine Page

Cow-calf dairying part 1: the difference between conventional and humanely-produced milk

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This is the first in a series of articles looking at the practicalities of producing ethical, cruelty-free milk by allowing dairy cows to keep their calves. In this post we cover why conventional dairy cows don’t keep their calves and why humanely-produced milk using cow-calf dairying is rare and costs much more to produce. Read more …

Sep
21
2017
Sue Blacker

The Wool Journey Part 3: wool attributes – length, crimp and lustre

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Blacker Yarns products

In the third of The Wool Journey installments based on an original post by Sonja Bargielowska at Blacker Yarns, The Natural Fibre Company leads us to consider length, crimp and lustre. Read more …

Sep
19
2017
Sue Blacker

The Wool Journey Part 2: wool attributes – thickness

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Wool from different varieties of sheep

In the second installment of The Wool Journey guest blog posts from Sue Blacker and colleagues at The Natural Fibre Company, we learn about a key attriibute: thickness. Read more …

Sep
17
2017
Dave Darby

Why the banks have so much power and how we can take it away from them

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I mentioned a while ago that I’m enrolled on a MOOC (massive, open, online course) about banking and the money system. As promised, I’m blogging about some of the things that I’ve learnt (we’ve covered the definition and history of money so far). Read more …

Sep
14
2017
Linda Kaucher

The Trump administration is going to attack us if we try to restrict the imports of US genetically-modified food in any way

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Linda Kaucher of Stop TTIP UK recently alerted us to the fact that the US government is determined to go into battle with any country that tries to restrict imports of its genetically-modified food. Read more …

Sep
12
2017
Lesley Anderson

How the study of animal behaviour (ethology) can help you keep livestock more ethically and sustainably

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I want to talk about something which can help us design more ethical and sustainable ways of keeping our livestock. It is a subject that has always fascinated me and, if you keep animals, I think you will find it fascinating too. It is the is the study the behaviour of animals, particularly in their natural environment, known as ‘Ethology’. Read more …

Sep
10
2017
Sue Blacker

The Wool Journey Part 1: what is wool?

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In the first of a series of guest blog posts from Sue Blacker and colleagues at The Natural Fibre Company, we invite you to embark upon The Wool Journey, exploring the what, how and why of all things wool. Read more …

Sep
7
2017
Dave Darby

Could the ‘paperpot transplanter’ be a boon for small farmers or is it just a gimmick?

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How about a human-powered tool that allows you to plant out 264 young plants per minute (!) without bending over? The paperpot transplanter, developed in Japan, allows you to do just that (if 264 seems a bit precise, it’s because each little paper chain contains 264 pots). Read more …

Sep
5
2017
Tomas Remiarz

Should we be reliant on cheap foreign labour to work on our farms, or is there a better way to feed ourselves?

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Recently The Guardian ran an article by John Harris called “They say after Brexit there’ll be food rotting in the fields. It’s already started.To summarise, John is saying Brexit has made the UK look an unfriendly place to our European neighbours and with the increasing financial fortunes of eastern European nations, farm workers are now choosing not to come to this country. Read more …

Sep
3
2017
Chris Smaje

So you want to be a farmer? Thirteen words of wisdom from me to myself

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Vallis Veg squash

In this post based on an original at Small Farm Future, farmer Chris Smaje relates words of wisdom curated as part of a talk he gave at the Oxford Real Farming Conference in 2016. Read more …

Aug
31
2017
John Harrison

What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in September

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Your tunnel or greenhouse is likely to get a little bit out of hand during this month, with most crops not being at their prime any longer. Pests and diseases are also spreading much faster than before. You have to decide which plants to clear and which ones to leave a bit longer. Read more …

Aug
30
2017
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for September

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September is the end of summer although we’re often lucky to have an Indian summer with blue skies and sunshine, nothing is certain with the weather. The bulk of the harvest comes home now and as crops come out the plot begins to empty. Read more …

Aug
29
2017
Robin Wood

An introduction to tool sharpening with Robin Wood

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A tool sharpening course run by Robin Wood

“A sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use.” So said the American writer and diplomat Washington Irving. In this post, we explore the importance of tool sharpening in woodworking with artisan Robin Wood MBE. Read more …

Aug
27
2017
Dave Darby

Should we not mention what’s happening to the biosphere, in case it scares the mainstream?

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This is a question for anyone working in the field of environmental sustainability. What’s actually happening to the biosphere, how bad is it, and should we tell people or keep it quiet? Read more …

Aug
25
2017
Jessie Watson Brown

Tips for safe wild mushroom foraging this autumn

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In this post, I’m sharing some of my recent explorations into the subtle nuances and helpful tips for safe mushroom foraging this autumn. Now, I don’t want to scare you, but I do think it’s very important. Read more …

Aug
22
2017
Lesley Anderson

Slug control with ducks!

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You don’t have a slug problem, you have a duck deficiency” – Bill Mollison Read more …

Aug
20
2017
Anna & Pete Grugeon

How we designed and built our own off-grid home in the woods

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Anna & Pete Grugeon's off-grid house in the woods

Two years ago, we blogged about Anna and Pete’s experience in obtaining planning permission for a self-built, off-grid home in the woods in Devon. Here’s the story of what they built and how they power and heat it. Read more …

Aug
18
2017
Sophie Paterson

In praise of the domestic larder: an alternative to the modern fridge

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A 1940s style larder at Home Farm, Beamish Museum

Once a mainstay of households in times gone by, the humble larder provided a practical storage solution for foodstuffs requiring storage over a longer period of time. Read more …

Aug
16
2017
Sophie Paterson

A year of downshifting in Devon

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Downshifting means working less, earning less and spending less and it’s what Lowimpact.org’s Sophie Paterson has spent the past year attempting to do. She shares what she’s learnt so far and why she’d encourage others to embrace downshifting too. Read more …

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