Archive for February, 2017

Woodchip is a great soil amendment and adds nutrients into the soil slowly, I have observably proven this to myself last year on my Allotment where I stashed a few wheelbarrows of woodchip on a section of my plot because otherwise the communal woodchip would likely have been finished by the time I needed some.
Once I dug my pond out, I covered the mound of woodchip with the soil from within the pond, about 6 months later I finally started a new project in the place of the mound of soil where I discovered the very well composted woodchip and noticed when digging that the topsoil layer was darker within a few inches under the topsoil line, when I compared this to a section just a meter away, the soil was lightly coloured and only darker very close to the surface line…

Below is a great video proving and showing from day one to 8 years on, the soil is even dug down seriously deep to prove how far the amendment reached until the soil quality becomes poor again.

 

Important Note: If you obtain free woodchip from your local Tree Surgeons, always ask what tree/s were chipped! Basically, Broad Leaf are usually Alkaline or Neutral PH (Oak is Acidic though) and Coniferous are Acidic PH, So use Conifer Woodchip for pathways as less weeds will germinate amongst the mature rotting chips as well as a mulch for Acid loving plants like strawberries and Blueberries. Use the Broad Leaf for your beds and as a soil amender!

Video courtesy of youtube channel OneYardRevolution

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I have been meaning to do this for ages and here it finally is, I have a dedicated page with a calendar for seed sowing and planting.
Click Here to jump straight to it, but keep in mind it is a page tab at the top of the screen near the ”About Growingarden” tab.

seasonal

Soon I will update the other months such as March onwards so you can order your seeds in advance and also prepare / think how you would like to arrange your garden design this year.
Keep in mind, newer concepts like Companion Planting, Planting for wildlife especially Pollinators etc. Some herbs are pungeant, they release off strong odours which repel and confuse pests.

Remember, to keep things interesting, think what did not work so well last year and apply one of the Permaculture Principles ”The Problem is the Solution”- in other words you can fix a problem by turning it into a solution and working with it instead of against.
For an off -the-head example: If you have had problems with slugs and no matter what you do, their numbers never drop and the population keeps staying high, get a duck or two! Ducks love them and you will be introducing a pest controller into your system which will produce eggs and even meat if you wish, lets not forget they also have a built in rear compost spreader as well! 😉

This Seasonal Growing Calendar is only valid for Cold Weather  / Temperate Climates such as in the Northern Hemisphere / Europe/UK where frosts are expected during winter.

There a are a number of plants due for sowing in February, as well as some which show up in the Janurary list, these too can still be sown now …

baby-carrots

Young Carrots Growing In A Container

Indoors:

  • Round Seeded Peas (See explanation / description in January Sowing Calendar – Click Here),
  • Aubergines, Tomatoes and Peppers (Especially Aubergines, these plants really do need a good early start in order to have a chance of baring fruit in our climate), Peppers take long to germinate (Sometimes almost a month so going by what a general seed pack says will almost always spell disater) and Tomatoes can always do with an earlier start – just be sure to have a nice indoor spot for them to grow on in whilst waiting for the last frost date,

Outside (Polytunnel or Green house):

  • Oriental Greens and Winter Lettuce Varieties again for planting in March, (See varieties list in the January Sowing Calendar),
  • If you are in a warmer part of the country, Carrots can be sown inside Greenhouses and Polytunnels to produce an earleir Crop – you can consider these ‘Early First Earlies!’
    NOTE: I would still reccommend experimenting though, I have some carrots which were sown late outdoors with no cover at all and I am in what is considered a ”warmer part of the ountry” these Carrots have survived well on a windy site without top cover, albeit looking worse for wear, they are alive and will definitely improve when the weather gets better

phils

Looking at my ”Country Stat’s” on this blog, it looks like the Philippines is going to take the lead ahead of Australia this month in views (Australia seems to always be third in my stats right after UK and USA who always both dominate 1st and 2nd place), I’m not entirely sure why they suddenly seem to be searching for Permaculture or finding my blog in particular (Perhaps it is my previous article on GM Rice?) but I have decided to dedicate an article based on Organic and Permaculture projects that I have seen there. I have previously searched for either a Permaculture Farm / Forest Garden or Tour video to include the country in my long list of ”Videos and Tours”. I just never got around to sharing or writing an article so, here we have a few videos to view for any Filipino’s looking to self educate and then be able to try grow healthy food  for themselves and family / community.

So, Salamat for Stopping By, here are a few videos, Some are in Tagalog and I think the one in Bohol is in Bisaya with some English thrown in by the video uploader and some of his friends, enjoy:

Video 1: Urban Agriculture Philippines – (15 mins), container growing, aquaponics, rabbits etc.in an Urban setting (Tagalog)

Video 2: Maribojoc Organic Demo Farm Bohol pt1 (After Watching Part 1, the other parts will be available to watch on the side suggestion bar on youtube) – Entrance to this Demonstration Farm is PHP30 per person! That’s Cheap considering what you will learn …

https://youtu.be/X4AMG6P9qww

Video 3: 1 Project Freedom, a Permaculture Demonstration Site, Tublay, Benguet, Philippines (It will be interesting to learn from them if one can take the time out to go on a tour and visit the site)

Please remember, this is an active blog where you Do Not need an account to be able to use my comments section, anyone can comment selecting ”post as Guest”, please comment and get communicating with me and others, Permaculture is also about community and learning 🙂

Further Reading / Educational = Previous Article: How to build a Banana Circle to increase crop flavour, nutrition and yield!

 

This is a good video tour of a Four year old food forest, I would say this is a definite watch for anyone who needs a better understanding of a food forest system and what it entails. The video owner has many such like videos showcasing his project’s entire history (journey).

Video: (4Year Old Food Forest, Bay Area California USA) [19 Min’s]

https://youtu.be/L5RfruUjL1w

Further Reading / Articles about Food Forests:

Previous Post / Article on a 20 Year old Mature medicinal Food Forest

Previous Post -Video Tour of a Front Garden Food Forest in Denver USA

 

In the Metro London newspaper today I read an article which is basically reporting on a possible push for the all out ban on Diesel engined vehicles starting in London to help the countries ”commitment” in reducing emissions.

I am not a fan of mainstream media at all and this is why! (They either don’t know themselves [yet can still call themselves ”Investigative Journalists!”], or they are perhaps deliberately keeping quiet on the subject below?)
Most people do not know that the Diesel Engine was actually designed with Bio Fuels in mind! The inventor himself spoke of this in the days of his creation, In fact, there are companies out there that not only produce kits which you can install in your Diesel engined vehicle, they even offer a full installation as well.
These kits are filtration systems which enable you to run your vehicle on Frying Oils which you can obtain for Free from restaurants and Take Away shops such as fish and chip shops etc!
It doesn’t mean that you have to choose between Diesel or Bio-Fuels only, you can run your vehicle on both albeit not at the same time so, Diesel can be the back up once your supply of Free Vegetable Oil runs dry for a period of time!

Don’t like the idea of installing a filtration kit? No problem, there are people who pre-filter and refine these oils for you and you pay them per liter! I have heard that there is one operating in the Elephant and Castle area of South London and I think they are based at a Farmers Market. The pre-filtered / refined Bio Fuel can be used directly in the Engine itself without any modifications being done!

heathrow

Stop Heathrow Expansion! Clean Air Is More Important Than A Stronger Economy For The Rich …

Another article I read today in another newspaper on my commute home, states that ”staff at Heathrow Airport” are to be given a £2000 incentive per vehicle, if they switch from diesel Engined vehicles to Petrol ones, they claimed in the article that staff drive 27,000 Diesel Vehicles into Heathrow, reading on, it became clear that these are not personal vehicles but all the combined vehicles from contractors and essential equipment at the airport!
So the agenda is clear, with the push for a Third Runway at the busiest airport in the World, which is in the city that has been rated as having the worst air quality in the whole of Europe… it’s obvious that there is some kind of underhand corruption going on. I don’t know about you, but honestly, I couldn’t give a Cr*p about what some business think tank says about our economy if ”we don’t listen  and not build a third runway” .. I really couldn’t care, isn’t it obvious /common sensical that we would rather have clean air and healthy bodies than a predicted better economy?
What good is having a secured low waged job at Heathrow only to be diagnosed with Cancer well before you get to retire?!?

People Need To Start Thinking For Themselves And Not What Their Newspaper Tells Them!

The Conspiracy Starts Here:

diesel-engine-conspiracy-biofuels

Rudolf Diesel: Intended The Diesel Engine To Be Run On Bio Fuels

1: The Government does not give companies with Diesel vehicle fleets any tax breaks if they use Bio Fuels in their vehicles,
2: With the above in mind, then do they really want to meet or exceed their targets for low emissions? Why can I get a tax break if I fill up with Diesel but not when I fill up with Bio-Fuels despite receiving a Receipt from the Fuel Supplier?
3: Currently, the Diesel engine is an already existing design which works with Bio-Fuels without much needed modifications (If any at all), So Why Ban Them ?!?! They are basically Getting Rid Of The Solution!

What are your thoughts on this subject? Please do make use of the comment’s section, anyone can comment even without logging into a WordPress account or Discus, just select the guest option …

Article ”Ford and Diesel Never Intended Cars To Use Gasoline”


References to Mainstream Media Articles on the subject:

The Standard (Article from 2016)

The Telegraph (Article from January 2017)

Image obtained from theFREETHOUGHTPROJECT.com

Believe it or not, there are crops as well as other plants that can be started indoors in January in preparation for the upcoming growing season, some plants just need a very early start such as some cabbages as well as if you are growing Onions from seed.

onion-seed

Organic Onions Grown From Seed

Indoors:

  • If you haven’t got a problem with mice, you can start Round Seeded Peas now directly outdoors, if not, just grow indoors until large enough to go outside (Regarding Round Seeded, some peas are Round when dry, others are wrinkled when dry, the Wrinkled varieties are for later sowings),
  • Onion varieties from seed (most people grow Onion from sets, personally I like to know the level of ”Organic-ness” and don’t like growing from sets due to this,
  • Cabbage varieties such as Red Cabbages need an earlier start, refer to your seed packs,
  • Oriental Greens and Winter Salads can be grown again now (You can sow these in Autumn for growing in Polytunnels / Greenhouses) these plants will explode in Spring when the temperatures improve, still for growing under cover though … the varieties are as follows:
    mustard greens, winter lettuces, land cress, mizuna, mibuna, pak choi, mispooona & komatsuna.

Outside (Polytunnel or Green house):

  • The above mentioned Oriental Greens and Winter Salads can be direct sown in Polytunnels and Greenhouses / Cold Frames also

    Click Here for a previous post about starting Companion / Sacrificial Plants in January