Tuesday, 6 August 2013
Went to a Farm meeting last night and the subject of this Blog came up. I hadn't realised it'd been so long since anyone had posted on it.
2011 was a bad year for me personally and last year was a year of emotional recovery. Don't panic. I'm fine now. Those that know me know why. I'm now just as involved with all the old projects and family are great.
I'm gonna see if I can make this blog a bit more open so others in the Farm can contribute without me needing to upload for them.
And as usual it'll automatically upload to Facebook and Twitter (or it should. I'll soon find out).
See you soon
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Today, Sunday March 6th, four of us went on a factfinding mission to Tatnam Organic Patch in Poole, a “thriving community organic allotment, and an urban haven for wildlife, with many plants and trees introduced to raise the biodiversity.” We were made very welcome and shown round by Mark, who works as a gardener and is very keen and knowledgeable on wildlife – he was able to tell us all the species of butterflies which visit the plot and what their food plants were. He is also a keen forager and we nibbled a variety of hedgerow plants as we wandered around, the favourite being allium triquetrum which tastes like a garlicky leek. Unfortunately it is very invasive and a non-native species so we will have to think carefully about planting it.
Mike and Judy got some good advice on ponds – theirs has a butyl liner, is lined with the fibre we have been contemplating, and is fed the overflow from their water collection system. While I chatted about parsnips and the joys of sociable gardening with some volunteers, the others were shown round the greenhouse with its impressive plumbing. Rainwater harvesting is their only source of water and they have an ingenious system of hydroponics and many water containers inside and out.
They have many of the features we are planning – ponds, bees, raised beds, fruit trees, herb beds, compost area etc. It is all very relaxed and has a friendly feel. The place seems to be run on a shoestring, many things, including their large greenhouse, have been donated, they have a large fenced area where they store donations and it was pretty full, with pots, timber, windows and miscellaneous other stuff. They have an earth closet, which they say is no bother to tend and water is boiled in a storm kettle for tea – we were advised to bring our own mugs and enjoyed a hot cuppa before we set off for home with many things to mull over. Look them up here www.tatnampatch.org.uk
Come along to the next Farm meeting at 7.30pm this Thursday, 10th March in Tom Brown`s to hear more about it and help us plan what to do next on our patch.
Friday, 14 January 2011
The Pond has been dug - but not quite as planned. It was decided by the Wildlife Team that a slightly* different arrangement would be more beneficial to wildlife and be a little more aesthetically pleasing.
The main pond has been moved south about 10 feet and made about 50% bigger than originally planned. And there will now be a properly excavated runoff (which will be lined and seeded as a 'marginal' area) leading into a lower pond about 1/3 the size of the upper one. I'll get Mike to sketch the new arrangement so it can be posted. I think it'll improve that aspect of the project significantly.
Work on the chicken house has been suspended until freezing weather is less likely as any foundations for the building need to set normally.
We now have a Twitter account. If you Tweet then follow us at @UnderLancheFarm
* I understate it a little :)
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Workdays have been a bit sporadic but then its been Celebration Season, and the weather's been pretty miserable. Subject to climate* the next workday is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. the 6th. At present we plan to start on paths and raised veg beds. but if other projects (chicken house) want to turn up we could make a good day of it.
Andy has been in contact with his polytunnel contact and will be negotiating the best gift he can get from them for us! Once it arrives it'll be all hands to the mill to erect it.
The girls have been hard at work with a bid for some of the Big Lottery Fund money. They've worked hard to get everything in that we might need. Let's just hope the Fund like our application and come up with a few pennies.
I've been in touch with the company building the Weymouth Relief road and their contact at DCC Roads Division and have secured a gift of a whole lot** of 20mm chicken wire. They've been using it as temporary fencing. It may not be available until April but I'll keep checking in the meantime.
The National Trust have been helpful with the design of a composting toilet. Construction should be simple but we still need a small shed. If you know of one anywhere that is serviceable but surplus to requirements please get in touch.
* If it's raining or completely frozen then check first before turning up. Or just turn up on the off-chance.
** There's miles of it in use - without exaggeration - honest.
Saturday, 1 January 2011
The Farm ended up with a good layer of snow, and under that a good layer of what might be likened to permafrost. I couldn't get a garden fork more than about 1 cm into the soil - thus scuppering any chance of achieving anything on-site over the period.
To give an idea of the weather take a look at this picture of the road outside the front of my house.
And it stayed like that for 6 days!
My parents got stuck in Tolpuddle and we ended up spending Christmas there instead of in Dorchester. No cars were getting out of their close so we parked at the top of their road.
The team hope you all had the sort of Christmas you wanted and wish you well for the coming year.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Just thought you might be interested in these Freebies.
FREE Energy Saving Plug
Don't just standby, start saving energy with a free LIME energy saving plug worth £19.99. This intelligent plug turns your appliances off standby in one easy click via your remote control. Households in the UK now spend around 10% of their electricity bill on standby power, with the average household having up to 12 gadgets left on standby at any one time. (source: Energy Saving Trust). Leaving items on standby wastes energy and money, so start thinking 'savings' not 'standby' with a free LIME energy saving plug and you could save up to £20 on your energy bills.
One fifth of a household's carbon footprint already comes just from heating water (source: Act On CO2), turn your shower into an ecoshower and save money on your energy and water bill. This clever gadget takes less than 5 minutes to fit and reduces the amount of water used by up to 70%. For an averaged sized 3 bedroom house this could result in a saving of up to £80 off your annual bill. Not suitable for low flow showers and not recommended for electric showers.
Offer ends 31st December 2010 so register now!
Only one free product per GB household (excluding NI) across all free standby and water saver offers from energy suppliers. Unfortunately we will not be able to process your application if you have previously received either product from an energy supplier and we are unable to notify you. Water widget offer excludes households who already own a water saving shower device. Offer available to GB residents only. Please allow 28 days for delivery. Offer is subject to availability. Actual product supplied may look slightly different to the images shown.
*Annual savings comprise of up to £20 by using the energy saving plug and savings of up to £80 by using the water widget; based on a typical 3 bedroom semi detached house.
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Kevin's offer of a digger to form the pond was honoured yesterday (Friday) and we now have the basis for the pond. Mike and Glenys were instrumental in settling on the final layout. All thanks to them too. All we need now is a rather large butyl pond liner!