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Readers' Solutions

Richard Brennan |
Wednesday, 21st September 2011
When we moved into our house on Bainbridge Island, I could see that I would need to replace the deck. It had been exposed to too many soggy Puget Sound winters. That summer I pulled the old deck apart and sawed it into stove-sized chunks. We burnt it in our woodstove that winter. I didn't build a new deck right away. I knew I wanted a covered deck... more
 
Permaculture magazine |
Tuesday, 20th September 2011
When I came across some tiny jam jars at a local tea room being discarded every time somebody had a scone, I couldn't bare to watch them being put in the bin. So with a nifty bit of freecycling, I popped them in my bag to use for some kind of edible present. I considered jam, but that would be a bit stingy due to their tininess so I had to come up... more
 
Meg Game, Kentish Cobnut Association |
Thursday, 15th September 2011
To keep the grass under control in a small plat (cobnut orchard), I strongly advocate ducks instead of sheep. My plat is about 0.05 hectare (1/8 acre) and 14 ducks keep the vegetation down beautifully, although I am not sure if they eat it or trample it under foot. I scatter a daily half scoop of layers pellets or mixed corn wherever the grass or... more
 
Carl Legge |
Friday, 9th September 2011
I'm not a Greek herbalist, but I am called Carl. This marigold's full botanic name is Calendula officinalis. If we deconstruct the Latin it will tell us more about the plant. In Latin, Calend refers to the new Moon. And so the Calends were the first day of each Latin month corresponding with the new moon. The first part of Marigold's botanic name... more
 
Stuart Anderson |
Friday, 26th August 2011
We've been buying organic apple juice from our nearest wholefood store for around £3 a litre: delicious, healthy but very pricey. We have apple trees of our own and many in gardens around us, including holiday homes that are vacant when the apples ripen. With permission, we've been harvesting these free apples by the barrow-load to feed to our... more
 
Permaculture magazine |
Monday, 22nd August 2011
After a fresh slice made from the sourdough recipe Carl Legge shared with me a couple of months ago, I was a complete rye bread convert. I never used to like ryebread and thought it tasted more like the packaging around the food, rather than actual food. This is because the stuff I'd tried was the kind that keeps for months on end, which made my... more
 
Carl Legge |
Wednesday, 17th August 2011
This is my adaptation of the traditional German Vollkornbrot. These are normally cooked in large rectangular pans with the loaves weighing 2 kilos or 4.5 lbs. I think this is likely to be too much for the average family set up, so I've amended the recipe to produce a 900g loaf that can be cooked in a standard 1kg (2lb) bread tin. It also uses some... more
 
Carl Legge |
Monday, 15th August 2011
Using natural leaven means you can control precisely what goes into your bread. All you need is flour, water and salt. No 'additives' needed. What happens is like alchemy. You'll give the yeasts the optimum conditions to multiply and grow. In turn, they'll feed on the sugars in the flour to produce alcohol, acids, heat and carbon dioxide. The... more
 
Carl Legge |
Friday, 5th August 2011
Once I'd made the pesto recipe from yesterday, I had to work out what to put with it. Salmon was already on the menu, I obviously had carrots available and we'd also picked courgettes that day. Recently harvested had been garlic and charlotte potatoes. So as you can see, this recipe was starting to make great use of seasonally abundant ingredients... more
 
Helen Parkins |
Friday, 5th August 2011
It's at this time of year that I tend to make pesto out of almost anything fresh, green, and leafy – not just herbs, but beet greens, radish tops, spinach... you name it. So when Carl Legge tweeted brief details of a version that he'd made from carrot tops, I felt compelled to try it for myself. But since I have a kitchen filled with Kentish... more
 
Alan Bishop |
Friday, 5th August 2011
Pallets! I'm scavenging these things all the time for various other building projects including gates, fences, or blackberry/raspberry trellis systems. We had been talking about adding a smaller type of hog to the homestead for quite some time and put a ton of thought into the phenotypic traits we would be looking for within the genetics of our... more
 
Carl Legge |
Wednesday, 3rd August 2011
Carrot tops can be used raw in salads, as an ingredient in soups and even in scrambled eggs. I found a recipe for making carrot top pesto which intrigued me so I decided to rework the recipe from scratch and change the method slightly. The result was a rich vivid green pesto sprinkled with white flecks of punchy garlic. This was balanced by sweet... more
 

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