Maddy Harland |
Thursday, 21st February 2013
In a permaculture design, each element has many functions, the minimum being three. Having three or more functions helps create a stable and diverse food growing system because each element is connected together, making energy cycle through the system rather than being lost as wastes, i.e. food production can be connected to animal husbandry,... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Thursday, 14th February 2013
Having been publishing permaculture books at Permanent Publications for 20 years, we are now seeing a trend on both sides of the Atlantic of mainstream publishers following suit. This is no bad thing. It gets the subject into a different arena, one that has marketing budgets and media contacts we could only dream of. We have survived on the... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 13th February 2013
'Relative location' is an early permaculture design principle. The concept of permaculture design principles first emerged in Permaculture: A Designer's Manual (1988) by Bill Mollison and Introduction to Permaculture (1991) by Bill Mollison and Reny Mia Slay. These principles were reviewed by David Holmgren (one of the co-originators of... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 30th January 2013
The 12 permaculture design principles are thinking tools, that when used together, allow us to creatively re-design our environment and our behaviour in a world of less energy and resources. These principles are seen as universal, although the methods used to express them will vary greatly according to the place and situation. Theycan be applied... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 23rd January 2013
Permaculture is primarily a thinking tool for designing low carbon, highly productive systems but its influence can be very pervasive! What can start as a journey towards living a more ecologically balanced lifestyle can go far deeper, even transforming our worldview and radically altering behaviour. This is the inspirational nature of... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Friday, 18th January 2013
I first met Ben Law, the woodsman, in the early nineties. He was made famous for building his own home from his own roundwood timber in his own wood and appearing on Channel 4 TV's 'Grand Designs' on numerous occasions. Ben has restored acres of coppice and created a beautiful, biodiverse yet productive woodland 'farm' near where we live and his... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Thursday, 10th January 2013
Marmalade made with Seville oranges is altogether a grown-up pleasure – aromatic, bittersweet and redolent of leisurely breakfasts. It brings the taste of sunshine to dark winter months. Seville oranges are the essential ingredient, more familiar to the market stall than the commercial supermarket. Their skins and strongly scented, their juice... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Friday, 21st December 2012
Yesterday was the longest night of the year, the deepest darkness of our annual cycle, and this morning, the 21st December is the turning point of the cycle. The shift towards the light. It has been celebrated in many religions as the birth of Light. Christians have moved the tradition to the 25th December, Christ's birthday, the coming of the son... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Thursday, 20th December 2012
An additional benefit of our garden being designed as an organic permaculture food producing system is that it is also a thriving biodiverse wildlife habitat. Birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects keep the pest/predator balance in check. To encourage them into the garden we have planted a mixed native hedgerow (30+ species at last count and... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Friday, 14th December 2012
Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) are an easy species to identify in the wild. They have oyster-shaped silvery grey or greyish-brown caps and usually grow in layers on deciduous wood - on a tree that is dying or on dead wood. I describe in more detail how to find and and identify them in an earlier post. Harvesting Oyster Mushrooms In our... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 4th December 2012
Garlic is best planted between November and April although you will generally get a bigger and better crop if you plant it in the autumn. Garlic bulbs are sold according to their suitability for spring or autumn planting. Once you have bought bulbs you can save the best best specimens every year and plant the cloves. You will then produce your own... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 13th November 2012
Continuing my ocassional series on my favouirte forest garden trees, the Medlar (Mespilus germanica) has to score highly in my collection because it is a robust tree that needs little attention other than a regular annual prune. It has an aesthetic shape rather like a small apple tree and fruits reliably every year, whatever the weather throws at... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Monday, 1st October 2012
2012 is turning out to be a memorable year. This summer the jet stream moved again. It usually passes to the west of Britain and Ireland but it has switched direction and is now lying nearer the English Channel, as it did in 2007-9. This means France and Britain are far wetter than usual. In Britain we ended last winter with a drought and entered... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Saturday, 14th July 2012
My vegetable patch is a disaster this year but the soft fruit is still growing quite well in our wet summer. The blackcurrants are ripening but without sun the goosberries are soft but still vert tart. Even so, some kind visitors went out and picked a few kilos of fruit last week for me. I froze gooseberries for smoothies and the rest I made into... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 27th June 2012
Last summer Tim and I did something different. We went walking along part the Ridgeway, Britain's oldest road, that runs through central southern England, through the wooded hills and valleys of the Chilterns to the north Wessex Downs, rich in wildlife found in chalk grassland habitats, and down into the World Heritage Site of Avebury. The... more
 

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