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recent content by Maddy Harland

Maddy Harland |
Thursday, 24th February 2011

There are so many compelling reasons for growing even a little of your own food in the garden or allotment, on the patio, or even on the windowsill.

Take for instance the humble lettuce. On average of over 11 pesticides are sprayed on lettuces, more than any other vegetable crop. In one study by what is now the UK Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), pesticide applications had increased by 600% over a ten year period. Those innocent bags of mixed salad from the supermarket are also washed with chloride to prevent decay.

 
Maddy Harland |
Saturday, 8th January 2011

There is a treasure in the woods near me: a semi-rotten beech tree that hosts oyster mushroom mycellium. Every year, after a very cold snap (usually in January) the mycellium runs and its fruiting bodies appear. Behold! Sumptuous oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus).

 
Maddy Harland |
Saturday, 1st January 2011

Happy New Year to you all who kindly read this blog or who have just stumbled upon it. Welcome.

The New Year is an opportunity to pause and reflect: What do I want to focus on this year? What do I want to change and how can I better find my joy and be a more effective human being? I don't usually set myself a long, self-critical and impossible list of stuff I have to give up but I do take the opportunity of a few days away from work to think about how I can make the coming year better and also focus on what new things I want to be bring into my life.

 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 30th November 2010

Earlier this year Tim and I had a call from a BBC producer. Would we like to appear on another programme that wanted to feature permaculture? We are always interested in deepening understanding of the subject, but also wary. It is so easy to trivialise permaculture and wrap it up as an alternative form of organic gardening. We asked how long we would get and what was the angle?

 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 20th October 2010

A dear friend of mine who spent much time in the beautiful Western Isles of Scotland once told me a story about the Queen. HMS Britannia was on its annual summer voyage with its royal passengers and stopped at a small bay one quiet afternoon. The Queen disembarked and waved away her bodyguards and other familiars and set off for a rare walk on her own. Her path took her to a small cottage where she saw its owner gardening. The Queen greeted the woman and they stopped to chat over the garden fence. Then she asked if she could come in and have a cup of tea.

 

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