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Readers' Solutions

Groundwork Solent |
Wednesday, 21st November 2012
Ever wanted to make your very own bird hide but been put off by the cost and the construction of what is a well built wooden shed? Be put off no more. With just a few willow whips you can weave your own hide with willow cuttings. As part of the Green Learning for the Alver Valley Project, Hampshire, which creates opportunities for local people to... more
 
Emily Ingham |
Wednesday, 14th November 2012
Don't hibernate just yet: head outside! Planting garlic, beans and peas now will hopefully ensure an earlier and better crop next year. It may look like they're not doing anything over winter, but that's OK – too much growth and they'll be susceptible to frost. Around now is your last chance to get garlic in to the ground (or your pots!) – go on,... more
 
Sarah Johnstone |
Friday, 9th November 2012
I love this time of year as Pumpkins and Squash are in abundant supply. Don't just opt for the standard orange pumpkins that are sold for Halloween; other varieties are now becoming readily available so hunt them out at your local farm shop or farmer's market. The 'Crown Prince' variety has a bluey-grey skin and dense orange flesh which has a... more
 
Emily Ingham |
Tuesday, 6th November 2012
The popularity of our recent articles such as downsizing; sustainable cities and low-impact transport options proves that permaculture is not merely a solution for smallholders, farmers and families living in the countryside, but for city dwellers too. Living in cities offers great opportunities for us to reduce our footprints. This may seem like... more
 
Carl Legge |
Friday, 2nd November 2012
The nasturtium plant (tropaeoleum majus) is one of the most useful plants in the garden. It attracts pollinating insects and acts as a sacrificial plant for brassicas by attracting caterpillars to its leaves. Its flowers, leaves, seed pods and seeds are prolific & edible and it readily self-seeds. The whole plant has a peppery, watercress-like... more
 
Sebastian von Holstein |
Sunday, 28th October 2012
As you would expect, cases of SAD are much higher in cold, dark places but it is also largely a symptom of the modern world. It is estimated that 75% of the population used to work outdoors in natural outdoor light as opposed to only 10% presently. Concentrated city environments all see a higher number of sufferers due to high office hours and... more
 
Carl Legge |
Friday, 26th October 2012
If you don’t grow your own, you may see big bunches of parsley in markets. It’s well worth picking these up to make this wonderful ingredient the French call persillade. Persillade in its most basic form is just a mix of finely chopped parsley and garlic. It can also have oil, vinegar or citrus juice and salt added. In my version, the oil protects... more
 
Phil Moore |
Monday, 15th October 2012
Renegade architect Mike Reynolds and his crew began construction in March 2012. Commissioned by an ex-pat British family, the building is situated on a huge piece of land with a cacao farm, an important and popular crop in this part of the world. Richard and Alisa arrived in Belize two years ago having lived in Scotland, Spain, and Mexico with... more
 
Michael Hutchinson |
Thursday, 11th October 2012
Making a DIY wormery is easy. I found two cheap plastic basins the same size – you can use plastic crates from any DIY store or car boot sale. I first drilled holes in the bottom of one basin to allow any liquid to drain out. This can be collected in a tray and diluted 1:10 and used as liquid fertiliser. Four holes were then drilled in the sides... more
 
Samuel Muiruri |
Wednesday, 26th September 2012
Samuel Muirui of the Charisma Organisation in Kenya came up with idea for the Peace bench. Having succesfully turned waste into a resource, various communities signed a memorandum of peace onto the bench during the International Day of Peace on 21 September 2012  "Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace... more
 
Rob Croft |
Monday, 24th September 2012
As the world's worst DIY person, I am pleased to tell you that this compact comfrey maker works! The resources needed is part of a pallet (I spotted a broken one at the local recycling centre), wood preservative, a drainpipe, some plastic fixtures, a plastic bottle,a jam jar and tape. Put the device together as in the photograph and then simply... more
 
Ginny Evans |
Saturday, 22nd September 2012
Now the days are starting to draw in and the nights are getting longer (and cooler) it's time to focus once more on energy consumption and, in particular, how to keep your electricity bills as low as possible. Around this time last year the Evans family set themselves the challenge of halving their electricity bills over a six month period. In the... more
 

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