Readers' Solutions

Rebecca Hosking |
Monday, 23rd February 2015
We find quite a bit of badger activity on the farm. Most common being footprints, diggings in our pasture or, as Dave calls them, 'snuffle holes' and badger paths. We have some incredibly well worn badger paths across our pasture and it seems it doesn't matter what we do in our fields the badgers will always walk that direct same path. Why is this... more
 
Rozie Apps |
Friday, 20th February 2015
Rocket mass heaters are an innovative cross between a rocket stove and a masonry heater. Using a tenth less fuel that a conventional woodburner, a rocket mass heater converts the burn of hot gases that rise from the fire into heat, as well as the heat from released steam and carbon dioxide. The rocket mass heater is an efficient and clean method... more
 
Jonathan Powell |
Wednesday, 18th February 2015
In the latest issue of Permaculture magazine (PM83) Jonathan Powell explores the ancient practice of beekeeping - low intervention and using a living tree. Here he explains how you can use a log as a hive, even if you don't have a tree the right size.  Not everybody has a forest with trees of 80cm (30in) diameter in their back garden, so... more
 
Rebecca Hosking |
Saturday, 14th February 2015
One of the many reasons we are planting 1000s of different trees on the farm is to grow foliage for food for our animals. Back before we had the Enclosures Act in the UK, animals would be free (albeit with a shepherd or herdsman) to roam the land picking and choosing what they preferred to eat and thus giving themselves a wonderfully balanced diet... more
 
Abundant Permaculture |
Thursday, 12th February 2015
A tractor trailer dropped off a pallet of organic feed onto my tiny dock. This cost me $800 and would only last 3 months. I had organized a feed co-op to save $2 a bag which brought my 50 pound bag of organic feed to $34. That was the fall of 2013 and it ended up being the last time I ever bought commercial feed for my flock. Here I'll talk about... more
 
Rebecca Hosking |
Tuesday, 10th February 2015
We are purposely placing large fallen tree trunks in our most windswept fields. You would be right to ask why?! Ever since these fields were first created in the Bronze Age over 2,000 years ago, generations of farmers have been slowly emptying out all the trees, shrubs, stones, rocks, ponds, streams, marshes and most of their natural vegetation. ... more
 
Rozie Apps |
Thursday, 5th February 2015
Various projects and researchers across the world use mycelium to clean habitats. Whether it is waterways, soil or even radioactive comtaminated areas, the powerful use of mycelium to sequester contaminants, is another amazing feat from nature. Paul Stamets, an American mycologist has been working for years with mycoremediation, using mycelium to... more
 
Wayne Weiseman |
Wednesday, 4th February 2015
Dandelion. The thesaurus does not list this word as a synonym for ubiquitous. I guess Roget did not have to mow his front lawn every week. Or maybe he did, but refused to allow this ubiquitous 'pest' into his treasure house of words and phrases. Dandelion. Dent-de-lion. 'Lion's tooth'. Bright little suns waking at springtime amongst the fresh... more
 
Rebecca Hosking |
Monday, 2nd February 2015
It is good to see cocksfoot grass (Dactylis glomerata) popping up in our current grazing pasture. This is a perennial grass that forms dense tussocks growing to 15-140cm tall, with leaves 20-50cm long and up to 1.5cm broad, and distinctive tufted triangular flowerheads, containing 2-5 flowers. The stems have a flattened base, which distinguishes... more
 
Rebecca Hosking |
Friday, 30th January 2015
We've just noticed mole hills in the field where the sheep are now currently grazing. Previously this field was exhausted over-grazed pasture. The evidence that we now have moles in that field is fantastic news. Moles are a brilliant indicator that our soil is recovering and consequently has a heavy population of earthworms. There's more organic... more
 
Wayne Weiseman |
Tuesday, 27th January 2015
It is difficult to drive down America’s highways without seeing tall stalks of mullein on almost every embankment. At times I have gotten so mesmerized with this plant that not even the person behind me blowing their horn and screaming loudly can get me to move any faster. The yellow blossoms at the top of the spike are the main attraction. When... more
 
http://farmhack.net/tools/culticycle |
Wednesday, 14th January 2015
A pedal powered tractor that can cultivate, seed, spray, or pull gear for most low horsepower tasks. Small tractors do many jobs very well and very fast, but also consume fuel, compact soil, cost a lot, and cause physical damage to the operator – mainly spine and joint problems. Many of their jobs could be done slower but better, by human pedal... more
 

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