Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cadair Idris with remains of snowfall


View of the mountain taken this afternoon. i can't get enough of this view, it looks different every day. Everyday I am reminded of what beautiful world we have and how lucky we are to be here now, it only strengthens my resolve to to want to try and make the world a less crazy and much more sustainable place. It would of course be boring if we all thought the same, so kind of totalitarian nightmare even, but total respect for the planet we all live really should be the one thing that unites everyone of us.

Comfrey cream

Slices of a big piece of comfrey root. that have been air dried for a couple of days. this is me having a go at making comfrey ointment, as previously demonstrated to us by herbalist, Amanda Dean

She will also be running a workshop on the permaculture course, where we'll get a chance to make stuff like this. but I have used up my stock from last year so I was keen to have myself. I am very pleased with the result. I simmered it in olive oil, and let it stand for a day or two, then simmered it again, sieved out the root and then grated in a block of beeswax. It has set beautifully.

Its the perfect thing for sores and cuts, and is also supposed to do wonders for broken bones, knit-bone being one of it common names.

Spring volunteers and willow weaving

Big thanks to Ruth and Louie who have been here all week, volunteering and helping get ready for the course in May. I have been doing a lot of web work recently for the willowbank and as it was going very well, Steve Pickup gave Chickenshack a willow arbour kit. partly as a present, but also partly as market research to see how we go on with it. Well apart from eh the fact that where as it takes Steve P 4 hours a build an arbour, it took the three of us a day and a half to get it right. It was cold and windy though, but very satisfying. It looks really great, they are very precise designs and if done correctly will grow and last for many years, but there is a bit of skill in getting the exact right proportions to a complex 3d shape. the lower pic s of the weave pattern, i will post some more of it growing soon.

Ket's new 'orse


couldn't resist this pic, of a good friend of mine with her new horse, whilst being bravely tested by her young niece!

Ritchie and Sue help fit out the studio


Big thanks to Sue and Ritchie for coming over to help build a kitchen in the Studio. Its a lovely room, which has been used as an office and flat at different times over the years here.

It was of course home to the Permaculture Association for three years, between '95 and '99. Anyway it great to see some energy going in to refurbishing it a bit and making more of the space.

The plan is use it as the tea room/ lounge and library for all the course students, so it will make a very nice space for that.

Not only that but they entertained us with violin and bazoukie, and added a track to the song Mike is recording for me at the moment. I have gotta say we are a bit spoiled having a sound engineer adn full on recoding studio wired into our kitchen. Mike is currently working on a few projects, one of them being the definitive Chickenshack blues album..

Monday, March 05, 2007

Inconvenient truth's and permaculture courses

here is an intro course being run by Graham Burnett in Epping
http://www.gb0063551.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/course/index.htm

Meanwhile, we have I think 11 of the 18 places on the chickenshack 2- week course booked or reserved allready... so do get in touch if you are interested... as we are expecting to sell out.

Just watched the Al Gore inconvenient truth video, ... very good... I have been studying climate change since i completed my degree in 1984, have read many books and studies on the subject, but i still have to applaud Al Gore for the comprehensive set of evidence he presents, and the corresponding sense of urgency into action. - i such a coherent and accessible format.. I really think every one has to watch it.. if you are not convinced about the urgency of the situation we are in.. then you really need too se this, and if you are already paralysed with fear .. then you also need to watch it.. as it is a call to action and an inspiration rather than doom and gloom. As the man himself points out in the presentation, people seem t0o move from a position of denial.. no its not happening.. etc.. to the well we're a;l screwed then position, and miss the middle ground of ... well I supposedly we need to do something then... Al's message s this, it really matters what we do now we have the power to make a big difference on the eventual outcome of all of this, but we really need to ALL OF US do something right now...

Permaculture offers us all practical pragmatic strategies to bring about a more sustainable planet