Monday, May 26, 2008

design workshop

a key part of the course is to channel al the ideas and enthusiasm generated into a real project design exercise. Here us a view of a model of the healing courtyard at the workhouse, with a central earth-worked structure; an inner refuge, surrounded by a landscaped muli funtional space.

making magic

Shanti holding a handful of plantains. Mandy showed us the magic of common garden plants.... sometimes the humblest and commonest of grassland herbs can turn turn out to be the best for healing and medicine making. We made a healing salve from common ribwort plantain leaves harvested from the meadow.

bath room of champions

Stuey putting the finishing touches to the chickenshack field bath room deluxe. Shower bath facilities with hot and cold water! .. it was a genuine triumph of ingenuity.

Couple more images from the course.... the chickenshack veggie garden is looking good, with the green manures harvested and dug in, and the poly veg beds planted up. Here's a lovely shot of the delightful Sammi with one of her daughters.. on our site visit day to the workhouse.

more course snapshots

Busily planting a veggie bed. Permaculture encourages us to think of plants as guilds and family groups.. they don't necessarily do well as individuals. So in the this bed we are planting maize, pumpkins and beans. One of the commonest plant guilds planted around the world. The beans fix nitrogen for the maize and pumpkin, which in turn acts as a ground cover, shading out weeds and competitors, while the bens are free to climb up the maize stalks.

The second pic is Mark from the Workhouse, hard at work on the design exercise. There were three groups, who each produced a design on an area of the Workhouse. The standard for all three was very high... I really hope it can be a useful tool for the project itself. The areas examined were the 'Healing courtyard'. One of 4 internal courtyards in the building. A community garden area and the festival site itself.

course shots

Couple of images from the design course this year... Mikey boy the Scythe king, once started there's no stopping him. And the a special shout for Chris Dixon who did a fantastic session on patterning, as well as on regeneration and succession. After 18 years battling with the national parks over permission to build a low impact dwelling on his land, common sense has finally prevailed and he and Lyn are currently hard at work converting thier barn into a home.

click here to see a full size image

It was taken by Mike on Ian's camera - a really great group photo if ever I saw one.

PDC - Class of 2008

Here is the course group of 2008 on the first day.. we are playing a name game and have arranged ourselves in alphabetical order, whilst balancing on a couple of scaffold planks.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Weather forcast and Simons boat

Here's the forecast for a main section of the design course. Sounds like a bit of everything as per usual, but hopefully nowhere near as bad as previous years - which have been terrible, surely its our turn for a good one this year.

UK Outlook for Friday 9 May 2008 to Sunday 18 May 2008:

High pressure to the north of the United Kingdom dominates at first, with lower pressure away to the south and west. Through the period the high slowly drifts further away towards Greenland, allowing low pressure to move into southern areas, and the easterly flow to eventually turn northeasterly. Although dry weather dominates, with some decent spells of sunshine, there is always the risk of thundery showers developing. There will be some over the weekend, especially across southern areas, and this threat of thundery rain or showers may extend a little northeastwards into central areas during the week. The other change will be in temperatures, generally warm or very warm at first across southern and western Britain, but expected to slowly return towards nearer normal values later.

And here... ladies and gentlemen is a pic of Simon's boat... we have waited a very long time to be able to say this ha ha... anyway she looks like a beauty..

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Simon sails away

Well he's finally done and gone and bought himself a Folkboat, which is mored down in Essex. Chickenshack will not be the same without Simon's involvement. He was there are the very beginning when it all started ad has lived here fo something like 8 years. Anyway life goes on and we are really looking forward to having Bill and Kath here when they complete their planned move.

Meanwhile its all go go here getting ready for the permaculture course... looking forward to seeing everyone in a week's time