Info, news & debate

12/2016 posts

Nature in January – what to look out for

Anyone who feeds the birds in their garden is likely to have a Sparrowhawk passing through from time to time.  I am no different from anyone else – feeling that moment of flinching fear as the small grey male or his larger female mate come swooping past my window with outstretched talons. Read more

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

January can be the beginning of your creative gardening year in your greenhouse or polytunnel. It’s the first awakening of the year. You can start off new seedlings on your propagator and sow and plant the first vegetables into the ground. Read more

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for January

January is generally a very cold month with hard frosts freezing the ground although there are no guarantees with British weather. Looking through my diaries, snow isn’t that likely for a prolonged period, but you never know. Read more

Building a small home has a big payback

Let’s get one thing straight right away…When I say “small”, I don’t mean living in a shoe box.   What I mean by “small” is living in a space that is designed…well designed…for your needs…and no more.  A small space doesn’t mean cramped. Read more

Low-impact & the city 6: how we got ourselves a living willow ‘fedge’ (half-fence, half-hedge)

Paula Osthaus of WWOOF UK | 21-Dec-2016 | 6

We’ve wanted a living willow ‘fedge’ for a while. We have a firepit and a couple of compost ‘daleks’ at the end of the garden, and we wanted to cordon this area off, and hide the compost bins. A fedge is a cross between a fence and a hedge, and it’s alive. Read more

Monopoly and capitalism: why you’ll lose at both if you try to play nice

Dave Darby of | 18-Dec-2016 | 1

Monopoly is obviously based on capitalism, but the biggest difference between Monopoly and real-life capitalism is that Monopoly is just a game. Whatever happens in the game, it doesn’t mean that in real life Read more

Companies like Fairphone, Ecotricity etc. are doing great things, but could easily be picked off by the corporate sector; why aren’t they co-ops?

Dave Darby of | 15-Dec-2016 | 6

Body Shop, Green & Blacks, Ben & Jerry’s and Innocent Drinks represented a Brave New World when it came to doing business – Fair Trade, sustainable, (slightly) less hierarchical, informal, friendly. Read more

Fancy growing shiitake mushrooms at home? Here’s how – in logs or sawdust

Shiitake mushrooms require cellulose-rich material and will grow on a variety of woody substrates. My preference is for oak (or other hardwood) sawdust. In fact, Shiitake will grow on softwood sawdust Read more

Review of ‘Extinction: A Radical History’ by Ashley Dawson

Dave Darby of | 11-Dec-2016 | 3

I tend to look out for new books on extinction – I think species extinction is the clearest indicator of what’s happening to ecology, and the thing that will precipitate its collapse unless we stop it. Read more

Dear Fidel Castro…

Dave Darby of | 08-Dec-2016 | 5

I believe that you were a great man – whatever you did, you did because of passion and integrity, not because of a thirst for money or power. But you had the wrong plan. Read more

Request for help to build a reciprocal roundhouse for an environmental charity: great learning opportunity, and it’s free

Adrian Leaman of Wholewoods | 06-Dec-2016 | 0

We’re building a reciprocal roundhouse in April 2017 for an amazing social/environmental charity, Farms for City Children, and we’re calling for assistance. This 3-week ‘Full Build’ gives you the chance to learn by experiencing the whole building process Read more

What good might come from a Trump presidency?

Dave Darby of | 04-Dec-2016 | 15

Donald Trump says that when men get together in locker-rooms (or on buses), they ‘talk like that’ with each other. But they don’t – I have male friends, and if one of them talked to me ‘like that’, it would be the end of our friendship. Read more

Looking for the xmas gift that could change someone’s life? Here’s why WWOOF membership could be what you’re looking for

Scarlett Penn of WWOOF UK | 02-Dec-2016 | 5

It’s late autumn and I’m sitting alone, feeling empty, in a comfortable house in High Wycombe. It’s 5.30 and I’ve just returned from work; I’m a single moderately successful professional doing the 9-5 in a very ordinary existence. Read more

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