Category Archives: Health

(IM)Permanence Film Project

What better way to welcome International Permaculture Day than switching on the computer to find the first episode of Richard, Michelle and Grace’s film project.  I have just watched it and feel totally inspired and amazed by their wonderful journey and the incredible projects that the film shares.  Thank you guys and we hope to see you on the road soon.  Here it is – enjoy…

La Premier…

So here’s my go at a little documentary.  Part 1 of our Wwoof to Oz adventure.

Next stop Spain…

Mum’s Medlar Jelly

It’s that time of year again when Mum has an abundance of medlar fruit hanging on the tree in the front garden.  In years gone by she has let friends in the village come and take them away but this year she decided to make some medlar jelly with a little help from me.  You can pick them hard and let them blet but we allowed them to blet on the tree before picking them and also collecting the ones that had dropped to the ground to.  In all we had 14lbs of fruit to play with.

Firstly we washed, rinsed and quartered all the fruit and then placed into a preserving pan and added just enough water to cover (half a pint to each pound of fruit).  We then simmered for 30 to 45 minutes until soft and pulpy.

Next was the fun part of straining.  Mum only had a small jelly bag so we utilised some thick stockings too.  The important thing here is not to squeeze or force the pulp through the nets as this will produce cloudy jelly.  We allowed ours to drip through the night.

Once we were happy that all the juice had dripped through we measured the amount of juice and made a note of it.  Then we poured it into a clean preserving pan and brought to boiling point.  We then added 650g of sugar to every litre of juice we had.  At this stage we added the juice of 3 lemons.

We continued stirring until all the sugar was dissolved (stirring in one direction only reduces foam).  We boiled rapidly until setting point was reached.  To test this we put a blob of jelly on a fridge-cold saucer.  Once cooled we ran a finger through it to see if it cracked.  Mum then carefully poured the jelly into some already sterilised jars and voila!  I think we’ll try it with some roasted pheasant tomorrow.

Ginger Bug

Sam recently decided to stick an amusing photo of me up on our diploma forum which in turn inspired me to put this little video up.  I made it last year to see how the imovie software worked and it’s Sam talking about how to make ginger bug, a starter for wild fermentation drinks…

 

Forest Gardening by Robert Hart

I’ve just finished reading this amazing and insightful book by Robert Hart.  When learning about designing a food forest I kept hearing about how not to do it like Robert Hart did which intrigued me.  Mostly people have talked about his closed canopy temperate forest garden which didn’t allow much light to the lower layers.    I say that it’s a good job somebody didn’t do it perfectly as it has allowed the rest of us to learn from his non-perfect garden.  In this book however Robert talks in depth about his philosophies and world views with great suggestions and solutions whilst referencing some great work that I had not come across before.  A must read for perma-junkies or indeed anyone interested in world changing!

Gasland

This is a must watch documentary about the wide spread use of fracking.  Check out the maps of the shale fields in the film as living on or near one has disastrous consequences on drinking water.  Fracking is massive in the USA but there are also numerous gas fields across the rest of the world that could be opened up to the same processes soon.  Climactic disaster!  Check the Gasland website.

“The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.”

Devon

After leaving the New Forest and spending a few days on the Jurassic coast we came to Devon.  This amazing county has so much to offer.  We visited victorian walled kitchen gardens, did a bit of basic cider making, toured around Martin Crawford’s Food Forest demonstration site, picked more mushrooms, visited travelling friends and explored Dartmoor with them.  We checked out the last remaining working water powered forge and Lydford Gorge… amazing times.

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Finding Food Down South

We found ourselves on the Isle of Wight in the middle of September and on visiting an amazing garlic farm we stumbled across the beginnings of our new found addiction – mushrooms!!!  It was the perfect time of year and so we treated ourselves to a great new book by Roger Phillips and began our exploration the fungi world.  It took me back to when I was a child hunting for mushrooms with my sister in the forests around Thetford.  We got a taster on the Isle of Wight before moving into The New Forest.  Wow!  The place was teeming with them and it wasn’t long before we’d come to recognise and find some nice edibles.  The Trumpet Chanterelle, Hedgehog Fungus and the Cep were our first true wild muchroom cooking experiences.  We were addicted.  Another amazing wild food down in that part of England is the Sea Buckthorn Berry, it’s little orange berries provided an incredible amount of nutrition. Find more information at PFAF

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July – Sudden abundance

The first week in July and already our vegetable garden is producing an abundance of tasty food.  Nina’s medlar has settled in nicely.  Everything is mulched to hold moisture and suppress those volunteer plants.  We seem to have no pests eating anything as Nina carefully chose where to position plants to benefit one another and exploit those niches…

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PDC at The Patch

The middle of June saw The Patch host it’s first PDC with Richard Perkins coming to teach in his unique style.  The yurt went up, the kitchen was built, the library installed and before we knew it there was more than 2o people pitched up for the next 3 weeks.  It was an incredible learning experience and one I was very glad to be part of.  Details of the internship to follow…

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