Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Identification of Trees in my homeland

When hanging out with Jesus the carpenter (see my last blog entry, before you think I'm having evangelical hallucinations). I come to know how little I know about trees.

I desire:
The ability to identify the common trees in my surroundings
At each stage of development. Seed, sapling, young, mature and when processed.
In each season. So when in full foliage in summer to naked in winter.
To know which uses each identified species has. E. G. Great for furniture, or fixing nitrogen etc
How best to propagate, manage and locate each specific species of tree.

Proposed solution:
I have purchased a colour picture laden tree identification book.
I shall now slowly add to my knowledge by first identifying a one tree I walk past regularly
I shall then research and answer the questions I have mentioned above.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Jesus and his Wood House

This weekend I travelled to the south west of England. Here I slept in a tent and assisted my friend Jesus the carpenter build his 7 sided round timber frame home.

The rafters and post are of Larch and most of my time was spent using an axe or draw knife removing the bark and sedum (sp) of the posts and rafter. Along with assisting with the securing of the almost upright 7 posts. He has decided that vertical is so last year and all post lean outwards.

After this we secured the wall plates. The next stage would be to place the 7 rafters attop and there we shall have the bare bones of a reciprocal roof.

Lessons learned:
Beeswax boots well before any such adventure.

DON'T be a hero and cycle from the station to the venue with a huge backpack. Take a cab

Remember to take Jesus some Frankincense as a house warming gift when I next visit.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Hungarian Rye Grass winter green manure

Shaks wanted to go hardcore on the weekend. So no cardboard, old fashioned turning the soil over. Topped off with generous sprinkling of Hungarian Rye Grass seed.

After two beds worth of digging. Shaks is in agreement. We'll go back to the card board method. Much less energy expended 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Cardboarding allotment plot - part 3

The building crafts college in Stratford dispose of wood shavings. So when possible I take a bag from the trash and put it in my brothers car boot and leave it in my front garden. Come allotment day it gets brought along and used on the plot.

The saw dust and wood shavings mix is really for the paths which will be formed once the raised beds are in place.

I'll then lay cardboard in the paths and cover with as much saw dust as possible.

The empty beds will then get a turn over. Maybe double dug. And Hungarian Rye Grass seed planed to act as a winter green manure.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Card boarding the plot part2

Back on the allotment plot today. But first we drove to Redbridge and collect a car load of cardboard from a furniture store.

The cardboard was used to cover the over growth in the plot boundary bed which runs along the fence my plot neighbours have kindly put up.

We then covered the cardboard with wood shavings to weigh down the cardboard. A few hand fulls of winter beans were raked into the mix. Longshot, but I had a tin full of them and if they grow then they'll provide a great nitrogen fixing cover crop.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wall to wall carpeting for the Allotment plot

I've been a bad boy, I have neglected my allotment for some time. I will not bore you with my excuses.

As a result I have lost half my plot. Which is fair. And have about a month to get my remaining half of the plot in shape.

Nothing like a fixed deadline to get me focused.

So I enlisted some help. Shaks will work for me in exchange for me working for him. I. E. For every hour he helps me. I owe him an hour of help.

Now Shaks didn't want this arrangement, but I insisted.

The plan is simple. Take as much cardboard down, then cover the ground, then place a raised bed I've already knocked up. And fill with plug plants I've started at home.

I'll cover the finer points in another post. For now here is a before and after photo of 4 hours graft.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Bangla Pumpkin

Bangla pumpkin planted on top on my babies placenta. In the mother in laws garden. 

Started too late for this season, but here's hoping for a prolonged summer.

Purchased the sapling from a newspaper kiosk outside Shadwell train station (Tower Hamlets) for £5

If possible I'll save some seed.

Arthur, I have no frame built. Let's see how I get on.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Fatherhood and the myriad of decision

How does an urbanite transport their very young off spring about town? A gift from my sister of a ergo carrier will help with traversing London buses and the tube. But I'd love some peddle power also.

Here is a great little blog/ article on the subject from

How awesome would it be to drop of Jr to Nursery School via peddle power.

Do you use peddle power to transport little people? If so please leave links in the comments below on the you chosen chariot.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

New beekeeping course at Hackney City Farm starting 6th March 2013

> Introduction to Beekeeping 2013
> Hackney City Farm
> Wednesdays 7pm
> Starting 6th March to 24th April
> £110 per person, concessions available for residents of Hackney on benefits / full time study
> Session 1.          The Honey Bee
> Session 2           The Hive
> Session 3           The Bee session
> Session 4           Bee Health
> Session 5           Reproduction
> Session 6           The Harvest
> ·    
> Session 7           Inspection of the hive
> Session 8           Inspection of the hive
> Please book or circulate to your friends!
> Alessia

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Cloth nappies fo'real

When some folks at work discovered I am to become a father. They asked me what I would do about nappies.

'cloth nappies of course'

They all laugh. But one lovely lady told me she'll supply me with the lot, including a bucket and specific detergent. Turns out her daughter intended to go this route but then, well didn't.

She even blessed us with an awesome Moses basket.

Thank you Suraya from clan Badshah.

I shall remember you every time I change or wash these.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Garbage Warrior and Earthships

During the cold holiday period I watched a number of documentaries  One of which is about the struggles Mike Reynolds overcame to bring Earthships to the world, titled Garbage Warrior

Earthships are homes which enable a family to live comfortably off grid. No need to buy electricity, heating or water. Along with processing sewage onsite and producing food. With building materials using waste products such as used tires as the main building blocks.

For me the battles Mike fought gave me insight on how the red tape is truly getting in the way of positive change for sustainable living. The documentary shows part of this mans journey in which he is striving to become part of a holistic solution to many of our worlds problems.

Mike Reynolds you are an inspiration to me and I salute you.