Info, news & debate

02/2017 posts

Nature in March – what to look out for

The beginning of March is always a really exciting time in my garden as there are changes almost daily especially in the day length. One thing I look forward to with great anticipation is a warmish night as I know that it will bring all the male Frogs out of their hiding places Read more

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

You will really feel the warmth in your greenhouse or polytunnel now and so do your plants. They start to grow quite rapidly now but be aware that the nights are still quite cold and there is still a high risk of frost. Read more

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for March

March is the month when things really start to move in the growing season. In fact the start of the year used to be Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation, 25th March until 1752 in Britain when we adopted the Gregorian calendar and started our year on the 1st January. Read more

Can you help Barbara Jones and Straw Works set up a National Skills Centre?

Barbara Jones of Straw Works | 24-Feb-2017 | 7

Barbara Jones of Straw Works / School of Natural Building is the country’s top straw-bale builder. She is the author of Building with Straw Bales, and is the star of our straw-bale building online course. Read more

Interested in setting up a local food co-op? Mobile shop for sale, with free training thrown in

We are a real food co-op in Dorset, and we have been delivering food via our trusty mobile shop, ‘the Charmouth Dragon’. We’re now taking the shop online with the good folks of Open Food Network UK Read more

Want to join a new Midlands co-op with plans for self-build homes for its members?

A growing Northamptonshire based business is looking for individuals who wish to become part of an ethically based worker’s collective. The current business owners, Paul Battye and Melanie Cutler, are looking to turn their business into the new collective to share with like minded individuals Read more

Free timber framing training on building projects for good causes

Adrian Leaman of Wholewoods | 19-Feb-2017 | 0

Making beautiful natural buildings affordable for charities, community groups, trusts and pubic organisations who put other people and the environment first. Read more

Low-impact & the city 9: learning to use Linux

Dave Darby of | 16-Feb-2017 | 0

Remember the previous two blog articles about switching to open source / free software? The first was about switching to free / open source programmes whilst still using Windows, and the second was about downloading the Linux operating system onto a datastick so that you can play with it and familiarise yourself with it, but… Continue reading Low-impact & the city 9: learning to use Linux Read more

How to misrepresent Adam Smith: review of P. J. O’Rourke’s ‘On the Wealth of Nations’

Dave Darby of | 14-Feb-2017 | 0

I don’t know if you’re familiar with P. J., but he’s an excellent writer, and he’s extremely, acerbically funny. With this book, as with his Give War a Chance, several times he made me spit my tea out and have to stop to wipe tea off the page. Read more

Career change? How about making your living from making and selling baskets?

This is an interview with Fran Blockley of Old Chapel Farm about the potential for making your living from making and selling baskets. Read more

Is modern life a mistake?

Paul Edwards of Sodium Haze | 09-Feb-2017 | 5

I was back recently in my old stomping ground of Bicester in Oxfordshire – it was not a happy visit. Read more

If ‘agroecology’ is such a good idea, how can we get the planning system to promote it?

Daniel Scharf of Dan the Plan | 07-Feb-2017 | 2

The planning system doesn’t currently differentiate between different types of agriculture, and maybe it should. The type of agriculture we prefer could be labelled ‘agroecology’ – but the problem is how to define it and how to get the planning system to recognise it, let alone promote it. Read more

Why we’d be better off living like the Saxons (with a few mod cons)

Dave Darby of | 05-Feb-2017 | 11

If you spend your life trying to promote low-impact living, you sometimes get asked the most ridiculous questions. More than once I’ve been asked something along the lines of: ‘you want to take us back to the Middle Ages, don’t you?’ Read more

Wood-fired pizza van: free to a good home

Ian Dowson of Proved Pizza Van | 02-Feb-2017 | 48

I’ve had six years of self-employed catering with Proved Wood-fired Pizza, alongside working full-time in the housing and homeless sector. I originally wanted to sell the van/business to help fund going back to university as a full-time student. Read more

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