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Readers' Solutions

Steve Niner |
Thursday, 5th June 2014
Take a piece of white cotton fabric, a torn up old sheet is perfect and fold in half. Mark the centre on the top and bottom of the fabric. Place leaves and flowers on one side of the line. Fold the other side back over, hold in place the bash with a stick till the sap starts to show on to the fabric. Unfold and scrape off the plant matter, add... more
 
Gary Jack |
Monday, 26th May 2014
Don't get me wrong, there are good renewables contractors our there (as we have used some), and looking on the Micro Generation Certification Scheme (MCS) approved list, is a good place to start, especially if you want to be eligible for grants such as the Feed in Tariff (FIT), Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) and the Green Deal. Unfortunately... more
 
Unique Magazines |
Friday, 23rd May 2014
Learn about the taste, popular uses, planting, pruning and harvesting of Victoria plums, Conference pears and Braeburn apples. In conjunction with www.uniquemagazines.co.uk. Further resources How to Make a Forest Garden by Patrick Whitefield for a special price of £12.70 Watch: How to convert a conventional orchard into a perma-orchard A... more
 
Glennie Kindred |
Saturday, 17th May 2014
Every day the trees are becoming greener as the days get longer. There is an abundance of fresh oak, birch and lime trees, all of which can be made into wine or gin. Just remember to not completely empty a tree, try to take a little from a few. Also, all must be picked and made when the leaves are young.  Ingredients 4.6 litres (1 gallon) of fresh... more
 
Tony Wrench |
Thursday, 1st May 2014
For several years we have been thinking about doing something about the earth floor of our roundhouse. We had wood rounds on the bare earth on the outer circle, but bracken still came up in the kitchen each year and we probably lost quite a bit of heat to the floor. That is OK in the middle, since the clay underneath acts as a heat store, but it... more
 
Rory Prendergast |
Wednesday, 23rd April 2014
It is becoming crystal-clear that our oceans are choking with plastic. An estimated 100 million tons of plastic debris currently swirls around in gigantic plastic gyres or 'garbage patches' in the world's oceans, according to research from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. This is one of the most urgent threats to the survival of our oceans... more
 
Chris Magwood |
Monday, 21st April 2014
Imagine the walls of your home giving you a warm, gentle hug every time you are in a room. That's the way most homeowners describe the effect of clay plasters as a wall finish. Clay plasters are also among the very greenest finishing materials available, making them an attractive option for remodeling an existing room or for new construction. The... more
 
Cathy Ashley |
Wednesday, 16th April 2014
If you are bothered by neighbouring cats visiting your garden and treating it like a public latrine, fear no more. You can enlist the forces of nature and keep their mucky business out of your finely prepared seed beds! Use snakes in the grass - plastic ones - to keep the cats away. It really does work. There is far less cat poo when the snakes... more
 
Glennie Kindred |
Saturday, 12th April 2014
A pond is essential for a healthy ecosystem but if you have a very small garden, a simple washing up bowl and some water mint is enough. Add a few rocks so that the birds can get a drink from it. Remarkably all kinds of water creatures arrive in the water, carried by the birds perhaps. Similarly if you decide to add some frogspawn, then make sure... more
 
Anni Kelsey |
Friday, 11th April 2014
At its simplest, a polyculture of (mainly perennial) edibles will have plants of different heights or structures that snuggle up against each other comfortably plus some supporting plants to attract insects, accumulate minerals, or fix nitrogen. Some of my favourite supporting plants are herbs because they are multifunctional e.g. fennel, thyme or... more
 
Holly Davis |
Friday, 4th April 2014
As we learn how vital microbes are to the health of our inner and outer ecosystems, interest in fermentation and its benefits are multiplying. Happily we are now rapidly reclaiming this knowledge and the delight of safe, natural, lacto fermentation. Lacto fermentation is an anaerobic (oxygen is excluded) process, whereby lactic acid producing... more
 
Rob Hopkins |
Tuesday, 1st April 2014
Fed up of the slimy critters destroying your garden? Well, as we permies like to proclaim, the problem is the solution. After many a torch lit evening collecting bucket after bucket of our slimy friends, I wondered what I could do with them. The solution is gloriously simple. Simply pop them in a moderate oven (180°C, 350°F or Gas Mark 4) for five... more
 

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