Archive for the ‘Cheap Plants’ Category

One of the best ways to obtain a stock of Perennial Herbs such as Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano etc. from what I know is to pass by near the Vegetable section of a large Sainsbury’s Supermarket (Found on a metal shelf at the end of one of the aisles).

As long as you are okay with the idea that these plants are not of Organic cultivated stock and have likely been fed with a Chemical Fertiliser of sort, that this is a great way to save some money and increase your herb variety if you cannot or will not want to wait for seedlings to become decently sized.

They sell these in potted form and if I remember correctly, I got a Rosemary and Thyme for only £1 each which is a little more than buying a pack of freshly cut spigs! As Sainsburys is not actually my regular shop, I cannot say what other stock they have and which season they sell them in, my purchase was a last minute effort just before I finished my Herb Spiral on my allotment and my large Herb Planter at home in my kitchen garden. So far all of the plants purchased are still surviving and look healthy.

Cheap Herbs Sains.jpg

Cheap / Decent Sized Perennial Herbs – £1 per pot!

As always, I like to encourage my followers or any visitors to try go from a mainly intensive annual crop production to a more relaxed approach which includes loads of Perennials, a system like this gives you more free time and could help you to produce a better Annual crop due to the fact that you can spend a little more time on them.

Starting off with Herbs is a great way to start up on a Perennial approach, species such as Terragon, Chinese Chives, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme to name the most common are quite cold hardy and will live for more than two years. Most of those mentioned are very nice in herbal teas which have healing properties, they have more than one function other than for flavourful cooking!

Don’t get too hasty if you see a plant that seems to have died off, some plants such as the Terragon, Chives and Oregano will die off above the soil but new shoots will emerge from the soil in Spring!

To add to the above, I would recommend to plant the following in order to be able to create or at last add to salads during the summer months; French as well as Red-Veined Sorrel, Red Valerian (a common ornamental plant whose leaves are edible – not so great on their own but nice as a sandwich filler or added in a salad), Salad Burnet, Alchemilla (Lady’s Mantle – another very common ornamental – young leaves in a salad), Cedum (Ice Plant – quite common ornamental, also in salad) < All three of the latter mentioned Ornamentals are quite drought tolerant once established! The final one which I have yet to plant / try is Hablitzia taminoides, another salad plant which is said by Mandy at Incredible Vegetables to be happy growing in a shady corner in ones garden.

For those of you in the Tropics / Sub-Tropics where either all of most of the above-mentioned species will not grow well, please refer to the Plants For A Future Database if you would like to research Perennial Herbs and edible / medicinal plants suited to your climate and soil conditions etc.

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mushroom-box

This weekend I have a fresh email interview between myself and Ivan from Mushroombox, I use them as my regular supplier of Mushroom Mycelium and will soon be placing a new order perhaps for something different this time (Last time it was Shiitake mushroom dowels for Outdoor logs).

Jeff:
Good Day Ivan,how are you? Has there been a pick up in business lately or

just business as usual?

Ivan:
Yes, business has picked up a lot over the last month or so. Autumn always
gets customers thinking about mushrooms, so we tend to see a steady
increase from about September onward. I also think that gardeners who
cannot grow much to eat in the garden at this time of year get interested
in the possibilities of quick-cycle mushroom growing indoors at this time
of year. Also, the mushroom kits we produce make excellent Christmas
presents, so we see a surge just before Christmas.

Jeff:
How long have you had this business and is it bourne out of a hobby /
interest including noticing a new market to explore?

Ivan:
We’ve been selling mushroom products probably for about 5 years now. It
was very much borne out of a hobby. I originally started looking into
mushroom-growing as a 14-year old, when I found a book in our local
bookshop about small-scale commercial mushroom growing. I was amazed to
read recently that Britons have on average eaten only two species of
mushrooms. Imagine if you had only ever eaten two types of plant!!

Jeff:
For those who have not followed my blog before, I ordered a reasonably
large batch of inoculated dowels from you which I posted about (To grow
Shiitake mushrooms on logs), pretty much a kit including collared drill
bits as well as sealant wax, I have since noted that you are now selling
bulk orders, is commercial / bulk cultivation picking up? Do you suspect
some may be just eco communities and / or individuals who are going for
the rural self sufficient lifestyle?
(more…)

So the big day has come and passed, it was very laid back, fun and loads to learn – basically a nice gathering of like minded people from all over London and other parts of the UK

Permaculture Paradigm: ''Think GLOBAL Act LOCAL''

Permaculture Paradigm: ”Think GLOBAL Act LOCAL”

The event was held at the Cecil Sharp house in Camden London, workshops and events for the day included: Wildlife Gardening, Introduction to Permaculture, Permaculture’s next big step, The Barefoot Beekeeper, Best Crops for Pots, Come And Meet My Hens, Seeds Of Fashion – Grow a Garment & Permaculture in Orchards, to name a few. There were kiddies activities outside in the garden, a few food stands serving sandwiches and tea / coffee and cake etc.

At the event there were various interest groups from the Wildlife Trusts to Sustainable / Healthy Eating cookery classes being offered, Awareness groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, then the usual hand made crafts and clothing on sale, natural medicine / ointments and herbal remedies etc. One particular attraction was the Permanent Publications bookstand where all books were on 50% discount from their retail price.

Plant Stand at London Permaculture Festival 2015

Plant Stand at London Permaculture Festival 2015

Although not surprised, I was glad to see a dedicated plant stand offering both edible as well as wildlife friendly ornamental plants for your garden / veggie patch or even allotment! the prices were very reasonable in my opinion and the plants were of a high quality, I even saw plant species that I was completely unaware of.

Plant Stand London Permaculture Festival 2015

Plant Stand London Permaculture Festival 2015

One particular observation I had made during the day which was very exciting as well as encouraging, was the various cultural backgrounds seen at the event, this was a positive thing in my opinion …

Main Hall at the 6th Annual London Permaculture Festival 2015

Main Hall at the 6th Annual London Permaculture Festival 2015

I must apologize, due to family commitments as well as a near full SD card in my camera, I could not take as many photo’s as I would like to have … for more, please see my previous post Here on the London Permaculture Festival, scroll down for videos from previous years.

One nice little permanent attraction at the venue is the Forest Garden at the main entrance which was put in during a ”Permablitz” session at some point and can be seen from the road, the garden includes a pond, edible plants as well as ornamental plants and even a Herb Spiral.

To join the permablitz network in London or to see the projects including this one, click Here.

Main Hall with Plant stand at right of stage (6th Annual London Permaculture Festival 2015)

Overall, this was a very family friendly event as well as being full of the potential to learn and connect with the permaculture network in the UK / London … Now on to the IPCUK ( International Permaculture Convergence UK, 8-9 and 10-16 September 2015) for those who can afford the entrance fees!

London Permaculture Festival Logo / Banner

London Permaculture Festival Logo / Banner