Anonymous
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- May 2009
Forest Gardens and Polytunnels
   May 18th, 2009, 6:05 am
Presentation to the Parish Council Meeting
   May 11th, 2009, 1:24 pm
Polytunnel
   May 10th, 2009, 12:22 pm
Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm
   May 8th, 2009, 1:44 pm

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This blog concerns the farm I moved into last August. After a hectic few months renovating part of our main building as a holiday cottage (we have a mortgage to pay) I can now pay attention to the land itself: 62 acres, Gloucestershire, England, which I am setting up as a forest farm on permaculture principles.

Since I'm still in the first year, a lot of what I'm doing right now is planning and evaluation; walking the land to see what is already actually growing, what is the soil pH? what are the various microclimates on the site? etc.

As time goes on, I'll add in a bit of "the story so far".... but here's the entry for today

Mushrooms


Hey!! We've got mushrooms in the meadows... one of the best there is: St Georges Mushroom (http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/gallery/ ... d~5697.asp). I spotted them this morning walking the dogs. I saw some areas of darker grass against the background and went to investigate. I found four beautiful "fairy rings" about a meter across.


I'll pick a few to eat, but also I'll move a few to likely areas for them to spore successfully, such as the giant heap of straw and horse manure at one end of the field.

The meadows are looking really beautiful now. I had thought when I first moved here that I'd inherited a "grass desert" from the previous owner, but in fact this just isn't so. As I watch what is growing as Spring moves on, I am finding more diversity all the time.

The meadow contains, apart from the actual grass, buttercups, cuckoo flower (or milkmaids as we called them when I was a kid) and a lot of red clover. Also, the blackthorn hedges have self seeded like mad. As I walk through the grass by the hedgerow, I'm wading through a sea of six inch high blackthorn. If humans vacated this site for more than a couple of years, or it didn't get grazed, the hedgerow would take over the field..... just another example of the fact that we live in a country design by nature for the forest.

Cider Apples

We bought a polytunnel last week. Putting it together is hard work. The job starts with hammering in three foot sections of scaffolding into the ground to take the "uprights". I'm a bit undermuscled to handle a sledgehammer, but got it done eventually. So I've got the supports down and the ground sheet, but Sod's Law says that as soon as I'm ready to put up the plastic sheet cover, we get a week of the windiest days for months......

I met a charming chap in the pub a few days ago. In fact it was my mother who got chatting to him, but it turned out that he is a botanist and specialises, right now anyway, in cider orchards. He's been really helpful. He's provided me with four small cider apple trees (variety Harry Masters) and gave me a tour of some commercial cider orchards and the associated factory.

He's also donated several strawberry plants, some shade netting for the polytunnel and a baker's bread tray (I've been trying to get hold of some). He also knows a strawberry grower, who after his strawberries have exhausted their compost, has to dispose of it. The compost is no good for strawberries, but is fine for anything else. He's also offered to try to get someone he knows to help us get the caterpillar and the earthmover working.

He's a great chap and full of useful advice and comment. I really hope that we can keep his help and friendship.

Last edited by Anonymous on May 10th, 2009, 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm

Permanent Linkby Anonymous on May 9th, 2009, 12:32 am

Thanks for sharing. You may be interested in knowing you have inspired me to plant vegetables after many years of planting only flowers.
Last edited by Anonymous on May 9th, 2009, 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm

Permanent Linkby mtbturtle on May 9th, 2009, 1:06 pm

what an exciting project!

I would love to see any pics you might take along the way to see what you're working with and how it develops :)
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Re: Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm

Permanent Linkby Anonymous on May 9th, 2009, 2:05 pm

wolfhnd wrote:Thanks for sharing. You may be interested in knowing you have inspired me to plant vegetables after many years of planting only flowers.


Well that's really good to know. Thanks so much for letting know. I'm feeling really good about that. :-)

What are you growing exactly? Part of my plan is to to work in as many different perennial edible plants as possible, so I'm doing a fiar amount of research, and will be experimenting, with just what will grow in our temperate climate. For example, there are now varieties of oranges, lemons and olives which, it is claimed, can be grwon in Enggand and produce fruit. This, once, would have been unthinkable. I'm intending to test it.

Any suggestions or references for perennial edible plants would be gratefully received.
Last edited by Anonymous on May 9th, 2009, 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm

Permanent Linkby Anonymous on May 9th, 2009, 2:07 pm

mtbturtle wrote:what an exciting project!

I would love to see any pics you might take along the way to see what you're working with and how it develops :)


Will do. I'll get some posted. And yes, you're right. it is exciting. :-)
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Re: Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm

Permanent Linkby Anonymous on May 9th, 2009, 8:59 pm

What part of Glos? My parents currently live in between Gloucester and Cheltenham . I much preferred when they lived in a bungalow just north of Stroud that had its own orchard (ok, only 30 odd trees but more apples than we could possibly eat) and some great woodland behind it.
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Re: Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm

Permanent Linkby Anonymous on May 10th, 2009, 3:49 am

Nick wrote:What part of Glos? My parents currently live in between Gloucester and Cheltenham . I much preferred when they lived in a bungalow just north of Stroud that had its own orchard (ok, only 30 odd trees but more apples than we could possibly eat) and some great woodland behind it.


Your parents are not too far from me. I live about half way between Cheltenham and Tewkesbury, also in an orchard area. I got hold of some maps of our area from the 1920's and the whole village is planted with apple orchards. We still have some of the trees, but I'm planting a lot more.

And yes, I'm putting the woodland back as well; an edible woodland.
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Re: Permaculture - Vine Tree Farm

Permanent Linkby Anonymous on June 6th, 2009, 2:09 am

I just saw this and thought you could comment on it.

Molybdenum is a trace element essential to four cell enzymes. Three are in our liver detoxication system. A microdose of this metal allows our immune system to tag poisons in blood to eliminate in our kidneys. Infection and disease immunity are boosted by a microgram of molly in your body.

The fourth fixes nitrogen and oxygen in air into nitrates in soil. Nitrogenase enzyme unites these two most abundant gases into water soluble chemical. This molecular magic requires a single atom of molybdenum carry the chemical charge in this reaction. Rhizobia bacteria specialize in creating this enzyme, and form intimate partnerships with roots of alfalfa. These micro-organisms grow in pink nodules on roots of this three-leaved plant and other legumes. Rhizobia inhabit these subterranean condominiums, and pay their rent by feeding nitrates to alfalfa roots. In return, roots secrete sugars to empower this microbial synthesis.

By ecological farming, an ounce of molly makes more nitrogenase, to feed a population explosion of Rhizobia in root nodules. Thus, these microbes can fix more nitrogen into nitrates, and pump this nutrient into roots. Plants then grow more leaves full of chlorophyll for photosynthesis to fix more sunshine into sugars. The added solar energy captured as carbohydrates by the acre of alfalfa is greater than is liberated by fission of an ounce of uranium.

http://www.carbon-negative.us/soil/Molybdenum.htm
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