Saturday, June 24, 2006

Three weeks away

Hello all, well I got back last night for a weekend at home, after 3 whole weeks away building gardens for schools with the Sector 39 garden design team. Great to be back home, the garden is a bit baked, but most things seem to have survived, it is all very overgrown however, I think the strimmer will need an airing!

Dawn and Caroline, who both completed the permaculture course here this year came down to Reading for the third week to help with the schools gardens, we had a great time and got loads donw, so thanks to them for that. We called it their practical apprenticeship.. and they did very well. Lots to be learned about difficult customers, but perhaps it would be indescrete to go on about that here. But a big lesson that is there to be learned is about designing around customer expectations... they may agree that they want a forest garden but what is all that cardboard about? and poo! really is it going to be smelly and messy? etc.

Anyway, home now, tea to be drunk and its great to see fluffy cat resplentdant in her summer coat, her winter look was all dready before, she looked liked she had been at a pop festival or something!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Message from Kavita

> Hey Stevie and the gang! Thank you so much again for a wonderful
> experience in Snowdonia, I learnt a great deal on the course. You all must
> be exhausted from the course etc. are you able to take a bit of a rest?
> Oh what a hectic great few weeks. I'm still telling everyone I know about
> the course and they all seem very interested. The wedding was amazing
> and weather fantastic, the ceremony took place outside so it was very
> magical. Thank you so much for looking for the phone. I am glad that no-
> one ventured into the poo for it!!!!!! If the fairies happen to fish it
> out, and magic it clean then I would love to welcome it back. Been
> telling Vinesh all about the course, he wishes he could have come on it
> aswell, anyway, the good news is that we are going to work on the garden
> together and implement what I have learnt on the course, I am no longer
> restricted to my one bit of the garden anymore , and there is an extra set
> of hands to help me!!! It's going to be alot of fun. I finished the
> mapping for my project yesterday and hope to be sending you my project by
> the end of the week so I can complete the course. I'm finding it
> difficult to adjust to not having breakfast with at least 15 people and
> miss everyone loads. My brother in law is an architect and was very
> interested to hear about the course, he is working on a few projects in
> the BVI and I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction
> for some of the sustainable building projects. Thank you again sensei ,
> lots of love and hugs Kavita

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Well its all over now! A big and heart felt thankyou to everyone who has been part of Chickenshack design course 2006, to all the participants adn everyone who who contributed with a session or a talk. I think we have already decided we want to do it again next year, we would really want to build on what we have achienved here over the last few weeks. Here is one of Ben's photos, sorry we didn't get it together to put a bigger selection on the Cd we gave out, but given time I will use more of the other ones for the website etc. I cant find Kavita's email address at this moment to tell her about teh bleeping noise that was heard in teh compost toilet this morning... it could be the explanation fo teh missing cellphone. I am afraid noone has been brave enough to go in there for it...although Sarah checked the immediate area.. I will post mroe soon, but until then thanks once again, thanks to one and all for making it such an enjoyable experience. Love Steve Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 01, 2006

here is Cecile, a moment before we put the apple on her head! Posted by Picasa

a taste of wild food, finding more pig nuts Posted by Picasa

wild marjoram, growing on the rocks just below the castle Posted by Picasa

Identifying wild flowers at the Castell Posted by Picasa

Group photo, here we all are, chickenshack design course 2006! Posted by Picasa

Listening to landscape, her we are at Castell y Bere, Llwyellyn the Great's castle, built in the 1200's Posted by Picasa

Gabriel gets creative, he made us this beautuful dream catcher, decorated with seeds from Brazil Posted by Picasa

One of the design teams hard at work Posted by Picasa

Here is Mike testing an old log for multiple funtions.... Posted by Picasa

Here is Pignut, Mike and I went foraging, to prepare for the landscape exercise the following day, and we realised there was a huge resource of edible wild food right by where we wanted to go Posted by Picasa

When not cooking, Suzi keeps us entertained Posted by Picasa

Outdoor classroom at Chickenshack, at last the weather is good, and how we appreciate it! Posted by Picasa

Here is suzi, our camp cook extraordinaire. She has kept us all well fed with farmhouse cooking, and entertained with a few jigs and reels on her violin Posted by Picasa

study in the field Posted by Picasa

as part of the design exercie we need to learn some map making skills. this A frame lets us find a contour and map along it Posted by Picasa

hurray for a bit of sunshine and a chance to study outside Posted by Picasa

this lambs lettuce self seeds all around Tom and Lisa's poly tunnel, and provides them with plenty of fresh salad late into the winter. Posted by Picasa

here is some very healthy looking rhubarb, its the biggest i have ever seen. It used by a local pie maker Posted by Picasa

permaculture encourages to study and observe nature in detail, here is a beautiful lichen at Tom and Lisa's place. It takes excellent air quality for them to be able to grow like this one, so its a positive indicator of a healthy environment Posted by Picasa

Here is permaculutre small holder Tom Brown, with his fabulous composting toilet. They hhave a conventional flush loo in the house, but the water is spearated by the centrefugal force via this aquatron (top, above bin) the liquid goes to a conventional soakaway and the solds are composted Posted by Picasa

Friday - field trips today and the first stop is here with the head of Uk sales for Dulas Solar, a renewable energy company in Machynlleth. We were given an extensive overview of the potentials for solar adn other renewables and a chance to look at the varius bits of kit Dulas maufactire. They originally grew out of the engineering dept of the CAT where they developed a solar powered vaccine fridge. Posted by Picasa