Archive for the ‘Home Made’ Category

There are enough Dandelion flowers in bloom that you can start collecting now for various recipes, Last year’s Dandelion Flower Wine was a great success as well as the Jam – I still have one bottle of Wine left which us being saved for s good sunny day.

dandelion gorilla 1

Today I collected enough for a batch of Jam, this recipe will be an annual mainstay in my home preservation to-do list, the only other Jam recipe I like almost as much is an experimental one which includes Fuschia berries, Ginger and Crab Apples – this recipe, will remain top-secret for now unfortunately 😉

I noticed today that many of the flowers are in bloom all at once owing probably to the sudden 10 Deg Cel. + more heat we have had since the previous week, compared to last year where the plants gradually sent up flowering stalks a few at a time – in conclusion I recommend you get out now before the plants run out of energy and shoots! Throwing a bag in the fridge / freezer is always an option when you don’t think you can get hold of enough in one go!

Another recipe is Dandelion Root Coffee, you merely collect enough dandelion roots to fill a typical oven baking tray.

Wash them pretty well, chop them into small +- 3cm / 1 in long pieces and lay out on a baking tray and cook in the oven until they brown and become a bit crusty (to be able to crush them into a powder) this calls for carefully keeping an eye and ensuring the roots don’t burn. Once complete, just crush them into a powder and store in a jar – some people wrongfully call Dandelion Coffee a ”Coffee Substitute” this is a different taste and is much healthier …

Links for recipes:

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This is kind of my own invention (The Design), I got the idea from the mirror strings you can buy from some garden centers which sell them as pigeon deterrents. The issue with the latter is that they are cheaply made (small mirrors glued to fishing line – that’s it!) and they don’t last many heavy wind sessions before you see them broken all over the ground (I have seen this happen probably around 20 times in the last 4 years).

So I decided to design my own – with the emphasis on lasting, and not really as a pest deterrent but more as a Garden Ornament. I also took some inspiration from a Permaculture book I read which had a reflection chart (depicting the reflection values of various objects from Aluminium foil to wood, rocks etc.).

Tools:

  • Timber Saw
  • Wood Glue (PVA) or Silicone Glue if preferred
  • Drill and Screws
  • 4x wood screw type vine eyes (screws with a closed loop on top)
  • Strong Fishing Line or Thin Cable / Wire
  • Wire Cutters and Pliers

Optional:

  • Some Colourful Outdoor Paint / or just wood varnish
  • brush / es
  • Sealant spray paint (if you use indoor paint instead of outdoor)

Materials:

  • Long-ish piece of Timber (square profile – about 4cm x 4cm x any length you like), you may need to use the same piece to cut the supports to hold the Charm
  • Small Mirrors, get mixed shapes if you like (known as Mosaic or Tile Mirrors)
  • Sea Shells (optional)
  • Glass Gems (also known as flat marbles) – (optional)
  • Pool Tiles (optional)

In the following diagram, you merely cut out a couple of wedges from two of the sides of the timber, these you will stick to the other two sides to create angled surfaces to place more mirrors ( we want many mirrors reflecting in various directions and angles, so please don’t be regimentalised when you are cutting – let go of the OCD for this project ! )

Jeff's Garden Solar Charm 1

Garden Solar Charm – Diagram 1

Now go ahead and glue your various mirrors onto the angled surfaces as well as on the flat areas, you can decorate the rest of the free space with Glass Gems, maybe a few flat sided crystals, sea shells and pool tiles (create patterns, you can get very small mini pool tiles which are about 1/4th the size of the standard small pool tile).

gard solar 2

Garden Solar Charm – Diagram 2

Once all is dry and happy, you can paint around the decorations and mirrors or varnish (I prefer to paint / varnish later, I didn’t want the mirrors etc. to be glued onto paint – this was a personal preferance) then go on to taping the mirrors with edging tape or electrical tape so you can spray it a few times with sealant spray – this helps to protect against environmental wear as well as an extra barrier to hold the objects on and reinforce them a bit more.

Now screw in one vine eye on each end (top and bottom) to attach your swivels to and then the wire / fishing line or cables. It is now up to you to decide where and how you will hang your new ornament in your garden, I attached it to a fence pole by cutting two timber pieces (+- 35cm long each with a 45 degree cut on one end), attached these to the pole and then screwed one vine eye subsequently on the end of each of these supports. The charm was first tied onto the top support with about 10cm of fishing gut between the vine eye and the swivel, the next was tied whilst the charm was hanging, this gave me a chance to decide on how taught I want it tied, I went for only slightly with a bit of give.

gard solar 3

Garden Solar Charm – Diagram 3

An that’s it! You can be as creative or simple as you like, you could even cut the timber into more than one section with an assortment of swivels so that each can rotate in different angles, at different speeds etc, the options are pretty much endless …

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The Date is set for the London Permaculture Festival, again being held at the Cecil Sharp House in Camden, London on Sunday the 29th of July, 2018.

LPF 2018 Banner

Every year that I go to this event they do make the effort to change things around to keep it interesting, I highly recommend this for anyone especially families alike, if you are into permaculture and live somewhere far, this is still worthwhile to go to as before or after the event you can still mosey over to Camden Market for a stroll around or for some food before you decide to head on home. The venue is a mere 5 or so minute’s walk from the Regents Canal, the Zoo and also Regents Park and about 10 min’s walk from Camden High Road and main Underground Station.

With Highlights such as the Rare Edible Plant Nursery Edulis (They offer pre-order where you can organise your plants to be delivered for collection at the event), otherwise the stock at the event itself is good with many many various useful varieties of edible, medicinal plants, Herbs, Nitrogen fixers and more! It is a very family friendly event, there is the Permaculture Media / Permanent Publications bookstand, hand baked cakes / pastries including for vegan diet etc. Not to forget the many various Workshops and Skill share trainings you can attend (there is always a Workshop Schedule posted before the event and posters available on the walls around the event so you can choose which ones you will be attending). One particular attraction that toddlers and even older kids love is the Critter Hunt in the garden where bugs, arachnids and insects are placed in magnified viewing containers around the garden for kids to find and view, there’s face painting, storytelling and bottle cap construction too!

The following are links to info on previous events:

Lon Perm Fest 2015   –   Lon Perm Fest 2016   –   Lon Perm Fest 2017

What was on in 2017?

London Permaculture Festival Homepage.

 

Just the other day I was in a desperate need of any kind of container to plant some Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes), Comfrey Bocking 14 and ‘Czar’ Runner Beans which I was ”gifting” to some relatives overseas. I had said that the plants will need some care until a root system was established because these plants are going from a Temperate Climate into the Tropics and luckily I happened upon these ready to be thrown away bags, from a recent clothing shopping spree.

Paper bags are ususally quite strong when supplied in Malls / Shops where the customer is expected to buy heavy loads, the best part is that I intend to merely submerge the plant with it’s paper ”pot” directly into the ground such as those common compostable / biodegradeable plant pots – completely eliminating the need for plastics and giving the plant and other organisms some additional nutrients!

Method:

Step 1: Take bag and cut vertically in half, you can pull out any handles / straps and re-use those later if you like

SONY DSC

Re-purposing a Bench Paper Bag into Two Plant Pots – Step 1

Step 2: Once cut, lay both pieces down on their thinner Vertical Sides as in the below photo, then deicde for yourself how large (wide at the base) you need your two pots so you can follow the follding lines and cutting lines in the diagram further below …

SONY DSC

Re-Purposing a Bench Paper Bag into Two Plant Pots – Step 2

Step 3: In the below diagram, the following notes are key to complete this project:

The RED Line is the base Horizontal folding line,
The two Orange Lines are the side Vertical folding lines
The two Dotted Green Lines are the only cuts you will need to make

bag-pot-process
Once all folded and ready
, the final step is using a stapler to keep it together and perhaps to re-attach the handles for ease of transport and handling (Optional)

 

Hi everyone, check out my Recipe Here for a very nice Courgette Cake (We call Zucchinis ”Courgettes’ here in the UK) that anyone would love even people who claim to hate vegetables … Enjoy! 🙂

I unfortunately missed the blackberry season last year .. UGH! I just realised now whilst typing that, I also have missed the Sweet Chestnut season for the last TWO years running!! Not this time though … I have a great Blackberry Jam recipe to share so start stocking up on them if you can.
blackberries

We really only need 1kg (2.3 lb) for the recipe, but get more! I may include a few more recipes like Blackberry Tart and a Blackberry and Apple Pie, plus you’re bound to munch a few on the way! …

Keep an eye out, recipe to follow in the coming week or so! keep in mind also that you can freeze them until needed.

Wouldn’t you agree ?

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