Monday, 30 March 2009

A hard days graft up at t'allotment

At least dead-heading those dandelions means they won't seed!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Yield so far

I pot nettle soup

I jar dried dandelion root.

I Rhubarb Sponge

Much stronger legs and tummy muscles

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Surprise finds - country wines

Spring cleaning shake-up lead to clearing out the under the stairs cupboard. Among the finds were some bottles of wine that were put away when our kitchen was being refitted. One is some sort of ginger and parsnip concoction - which smells a little like wocester sauce, and might taste like a dry sherry, if only it didn't smell of wocester sauce. Anyway, its destined to be a cooking wine. I think it would go well in Chinese Style Stirfries.
Any way tonight I've discovered one that is very sweet and lightly fizzy. It's got a good body and a very clean taste with just a hint of muscadet to the nose. The only thing I can think it is is a primrose I made in 2002. That's about right for the other bottles I've found. I somehow don't think that the 2002 elderflower is going to taste this good

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

couchgrass mind map

the mindmap/permaculture connection

I'm reading Tony and Barry Buzan's mindmap book at the moment. Mind-mapping was one of the very first things we covered on my P C design course. Even though it was one of the first design tools into the box, it's not one I've used much.

I'm loving the book-lovely colour images of radiant and dendritic shapes-
I'm short of time for writing/blogging/gardening/learning/planning.
The book is full of exercises to try.

I think i'm going to try recording my thinking here using mind-maps for a while.

Sunday, 15 March 2009


Apparently there's been bad blight on the allotments for the last few years.
The plot just next to me admits to having not lifted his last year, too.

fortunately the main crop potato i've chosen has moderate blight resistance (Sante). Next year I'll look into sourcing Sarpo types.
my pink fir apples are more susceptible. hopefully the earlies should be out by then?

Have now read loads about blight, so with fingers and toes crossed that we're due a dry summer this year, I'm going to hedge my bets and grow some in the garden at home too.

also remember to look out for next year's potato day (it was january this year.)

yield is theoretically unlimited

Yield is theoretically unlimited. Or limited only by the designers imagination.

This is one of the attitudinal PC principles.

The year that I helped my friend Sue on her allotment, where we'd hoped for peas and beans, the bindweed strangled everything.

At the end of the season when we packed away the canes, I collected up the bindweed vines. This basket was my yield from those vines.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

how do you tell a plum from a pear when not in leaf?

Yesterday this search on google brought up no results, at least in the first 3 or 4 pages worth.
I needed to know because I came across some of the cheapest fruit trees I've ever seen on Saturday at £5.50 each. I've been wanting to put some kind of fruit tree in the garden for ages, toying with the idea of a very mini forest garden. Anyway, in what for me is a mad spending spree I bought a cherry, 3 plums and a 2 pears. I carefully stacked them out the back to await planting.
It blew up a hoolay that very night, "the wind blew as t'wad blown it's last" etc and all the labels blew off. The cherry was easy to sort out --paler bark and a much more delicate look all together. The other 5 bare root year old fruit trees were pretty much of a muchness. After careful studying I'm hopeful I've sorted them out. There was a very slight pale fleck mark running vertically on the bark of 2 of them and the other 3 seemed to be completely self coloured. So I've planted the 2 flecked ones (pears I hope) up at t'allotment, while the 3 plums are going to be trained against the fences in the garden. The cherry is going into a very big pot while I think about it.

I've been up the allotment in the dimsky 3 nights in a row now. The last two nights I've been there from just after 5 till 7o'clock. Even though it's been breezy up there both nights, I've been busy enough to stay warm. The view is phenomenal. The topsoil is 12-18 inches of really nice loam over a red clay subsoil. Things begin to recover a bit from the brutal strimmer haircut it had before hand over and I think I've got raspberry canes too. And one very neat row of oniony things. My body aches all over, but it's a muscular, I'm getting fitter type ache, rather than a my joints are going to catch fire or my tendons are getting shredded type ache (so far anyway).

oh also saw a very bright shooting star tonight. that or some space hardware dropping back to earth. It wasn't even properly dark yet and the moon was full. I must check if any showers are due.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Murphy bed part 4 (horizontal version)

This photo shows the single bed version. The "axle" part runs horizontally and in this verion instead of enclosing the whole thing in a frame the bed itself is open and the bolt mechanism goes through the headboard.
The headboard is attached to the wall (screwed to the shelves which are screwed to the wall.
At the bottom end a small end table fulfils the same function.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

obrredim? and the learning curve

Started looking up varieties of seed potato last night (see other post) and digressed into looking up fruiting hedges and I realised that I'm doing a huge amount of "research" . Hence I suggest that obredim needs another R. I've also gone back to edit this post to add in time as a boundary for the allotment plan.

Allotment rules about keeping weeds under control and a certain percentage "in active cultivation" mean I don't have the luxury of spending a year in the planning of my plot.
This learning curve is very steep. and so is the hill up t'allotment. the calves of my legs are killing me

Seed Potatoes-update

finally settled on (mainly due to availability when I'd finally decided)

arran pilot 1st early
Edzell Blue and Nicola (very small bags) 2nd early
Sante mc
pink firapple late main crop/salad

Sunday, 1 March 2009

allotment and obredim process

There it is then. So, obredim stands for:-


Careful observation has revealed a couple of rhubarb crowns and about half a dozen strawberries, so some sort of yield shoud be possible, (you can just make out one of the crowns in the bottom left quadrant of the photo). Picture is taken facing fairly well due South. Prevailing wind is South Westerly and those trees down the bottom (I'm told by John, my next door neighbour but one) cast shade about half way up in winter. The slope is fairly steep (still to figure out how steep). I want to find out the altitude too, cos its quite high up.


Well the actual plot boundaries are visible in the photo. The allotment rules are another set of boundaries to consider, the no sheds above 1.5m thing is a bit difficult when I live so far away and love drinking tea in sheds. Apparently getting much of a yield from certain crops might involve setting some serious boundaries for thieving squirrels and pigeons. Time is definitely a boundary issue, especially this year just getting it at the beginning of the planting season, and just when the home garden needs attention too. but also in terms of the time available for maintaining it.


2 tool storage cupboards 1meter high

pallet compost bin (contents not very composty, but not fully explored)

a bit of weed proof membrane

John, my friendly new neighbour.

John's hose pipe that will reach all the way to the water standpipe.

water available on site


seems an odd place to put evaluation, before design, but I suppose you evaluate what you've got so far, and what you've learned from other design tools/processes you've used before designing, and then since its a circular process, you end up back there again after



Maintain and then back to


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