Monthly Archives: April 2007

Finally it rains

Thank god for yesterdays downpour, I now have one water barrel one third full, it will not last long but at least if it rain today aswell the garden and pots will not need any water for a few days. I hate having to be dependant on the hose pipe not just for environmental reasons but I find it hard to keep track on the ammount of water I use when there is a constant supply.

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van conversion

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Over the weekend I’ve been getting on with the van trying to turn it into a campervan, I think that the warm weather has spurred me on. I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s alot harder than it looks. Part of the problem is that none of the angles are square. I’ve tried to get round that by simply making everything square and ignoring the curved walls.

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I’ve finished the hob/sink unit which now needs another connector to fit the gas supply which will go under the unit.
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Next to that is a seating unit with storage under. This will become a bed once the other side is finished much the same as in a caravan. The seating cushions my wife bought from ebay, they came from an old caravan and luckily enough fit perfectly.

It’s still early days at the moment I still have to insulate the roof and pannel over it, get all the electrics in and sort out the gas connection but I feel that I’ve made a good start.

supermarket eco wars

Asda anounced this week that it was introducing bagless check outs so that people could only use it if they brought their own bag. Thats a great idea but I would rather they put pressure on supplyers to reduce the ammount of packaging and introduce refill systems. Ecover have refill systems but you only get them in independant health food shops. I would like to see a supermarket looking more like a way and save.

We are less likely to see these changes in the near future as the supermarkets real goal is to win the eco wars and not to save the planet. In the last few years it has become fashionable to be seen to be green.

How can Tesco say that they have an environmental policy when they have reuined thousands of small businesses by pushing then out and by offering a tesco life where you can buy all your food, electricals, phone, bank, insurance and mortgage, they are even talking about introducing GP surgerys! A healthy eco system relys on a polyculture not a monoculture to survive.

All these actions are just token gestures to trick the consumer into thinking that they are the most green supermarket, while they can get away with the slightest action they will continue to do so. A bagless shopping checkout makes the national news, is it realy that big a deal, when they still promote huge food miles, unseasonal produce and continue to buil there shops on the edge of town meaning you have to drive to get there.

I’m still holding out, a supermarket could be such a better place but there is still a long way to go.

when is it going to rain ?

Now coming from an english man it may seem that I’ve lost my mind. I’m not complaining the weather for the last few weeks has been amazing but the gardener in me is getting impatient. I have not been keeping a record but I know that it has not rained here in nearly 20 days as thats when I fixed the water butts so they are still sitting empty. I would also go as far as saying that it hasn’t rained for three weeks.

I’m not saying that this is a sign of global warming I’m just sick of having to use the tap to collect water for the plants and seedlings. The dry weather also means that I’m having to water the rest of the garden aswell causing me to use even more water than normal.

It does make me think about how we would cope if we relied on the rain for all our water or even just for crops without the tap I would have nothing left by now.

If it rains tomorrow don’t blame me for moaning about it and knowing my luck it will rain for the next three weeks non-stop, sorry.

april’s permaculture veg patch

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What with coming back from Bulgaria and having my wisdom teeth out this years growing season has been a little behind but I’m almost back on track now. I managed to drag my puffy face down to my mothers and get some seeds in.

Here’s what went in.
Chard blue lights
Spinach beet- perpetual spinach
Beetroot bolthardy
Lettuce mixed
Leeks – forget which sort
Sugar snap peas
Pea kelvedon wonder

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This is my experiment for this year to see if I can simply just push the pea seed through the paper mulch. I’m surethat it will be fine and also I hope that it will stop the pigeons from digging them all up but thats a long shot.

I was very pleased to find that the sandy soil under the mulch was quite moist which surprised me as it has not rained here for over two weeks. The only problem is that there was quite a number of slugs under there as well but I deal with that by just planting more seed one for me one for the slug.

My best victory has been between me and the cabbage white, last summer it totally decimated my cabbage and broccoli crop and although I lost all the cabbages and most of the broccoli the purple sprouting because of it’s long season has come back beautifully. All I need now is to be able to eat and I can enjoy it.

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I’ll also be potting on most of the seedlings like tomato chilli pepper and the squashes in the next few days. My only problem is that I’ve lost a number of seed packets, I think I need a word with the little lad.