Info, news & debate

08/2017 posts

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

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

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for September

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

An introduction to tool sharpening with 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

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

Dave Darby of | 27-Aug-2017 | 14

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

Tips for safe wild mushroom foraging this autumn

Jessie Watson Brown of | 25-Aug-2017 | 7

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

Slug control with ducks!

Lesley Anderson of | 22-Aug-2017 | 5

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

How we designed and built our own off-grid home 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

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

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

A year of downshifting in Devon

Downshifting means working less, earning less and spending less and it’s what’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

It’s worse than you think: review of Douglas Rushkoff’s ‘Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus’

Dave Darby of | 14-Aug-2017 | 0

Here’s an article that’s part review of the latest book  by Douglas Rushkoff (buy it – it’s excellent), part ramble about twenty-first century capitalism. Read more

Grazing: why simulating wild herds maximises benefits for farmers, livestock and ecology

Emma Olliff of RegenerEat | 12-Aug-2017 | 0

“Many sheep farmers waste more than a third of the grass on their farm because they do not plan grazing wisely.” This is according to Susan Buckingham, extension officer at the Institute of Biological, Environment and Rural Sciences’ Grassland Development Centre Read more

Haybox (retained heat) cooking and food safety

Haybox cookers use retained heat to cook the food and save energy. They are also very convenient as food can be prepared and kept hot for hours and then served up when needed. This can be great when having friends for a meal Read more

Haymaking by hand: a guide from Indie Farmer

Nigel Akehurst of Indie Farmer | 07-Aug-2017 | 0

This week our friends at Indie Farmer shared with us their how-to guide to haymaking by hand, in which founder and editor-in-chief Nigel Akehurst collaborated with small-scale farmer Simon Fairlie, co-editor of The Land Magazine. Read more

A matter of scale: how small farms provide more jobs and more food per acre

Our new report, “A Matter of Scale”, highlights how a diverse and vibrant sector of small farms is providing employment, attracting new entrants and incubating entrepreneurs. Read more

The sheep shearing season: an interview and photo story

Nigel Akehurst of Indie Farmer | 03-Aug-2017 | 3

The year’s sheep shearing season is almost at an end. This week, our friends at Indie Farmer shared with us their sheep shearing photo story and interview with Ed Gingell, the so-called ‘Lewis Hamilton’ of sheep shearing, who visited Hockham Farm in 2015 to shear the flock and returned again to do the same just… Continue reading The sheep shearing season: an interview and photo story Read more

Community building camps: volunteer on community projects and gain natural building skills

Adrian Leaman of Wholewoods | 01-Aug-2017 | 0

A volunteering event to make beautiful natural buildings affordable for schools, charities, community groups, trusts and pubic organisations who put other people and the environment first. Read more

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