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Maddy Harland |
Friday, 14th December 2012
Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) are an easy species to identify in the wild. They have oyster-shaped silvery grey or greyish-brown caps and usually grow in layers on deciduous wood - on a tree that is dying or on dead wood. I describe in more detail how to find and and identify them in an earlier post. Harvesting Oyster Mushrooms In our... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 4th December 2012
Garlic is best planted between November and April although you will generally get a bigger and better crop if you plant it in the autumn. Garlic bulbs are sold according to their suitability for spring or autumn planting. Once you have bought bulbs you can save the best best specimens every year and plant the cloves. You will then produce your own... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 13th November 2012
Continuing my ocassional series on my favouirte forest garden trees, the Medlar (Mespilus germanica) has to score highly in my collection because it is a robust tree that needs little attention other than a regular annual prune. It has an aesthetic shape rather like a small apple tree and fruits reliably every year, whatever the weather throws at... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Monday, 1st October 2012
2012 is turning out to be a memorable year. This summer the jet stream moved again. It usually passes to the west of Britain and Ireland but it has switched direction and is now lying nearer the English Channel, as it did in 2007-9. This means France and Britain are far wetter than usual. In Britain we ended last winter with a drought and entered... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Saturday, 14th July 2012
My vegetable patch is a disaster this year but the soft fruit is still growing quite well in our wet summer. The blackcurrants are ripening but without sun the goosberries are soft but still vert tart. Even so, some kind visitors went out and picked a few kilos of fruit last week for me. I froze gooseberries for smoothies and the rest I made into... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 27th June 2012
Last summer Tim and I did something different. We went walking along part the Ridgeway, Britain's oldest road, that runs through central southern England, through the wooded hills and valleys of the Chilterns to the north Wessex Downs, rich in wildlife found in chalk grassland habitats, and down into the World Heritage Site of Avebury. The... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Sunday, 3rd June 2012
I gave my neighbour aka The Jam Queen 2kg of rhubarb yesterday and she made rhubarb and ginger jam. Delicious. Today to compare I made rhubarb and vanilla jam. Both have the refreshing sharpness of rhubarb and the complexity of the spice but are different. The vanilla makes for a smooth taste, the ginger is even more exotic (I'll make that in a... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 22nd May 2012
Our one third acre garden started life as a permaculture design on paper before it was made, but 20 years later Tim and I are erring more and more on letting nature take its course and as well as experimentation. Our vegetable patch is an example. We sow winter vegetables in August, eat them well into late Spring, pull out what has gone over or... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Thursday, 23rd February 2012
In Permaculture magazine issue 69, I interviewed the barrister, Polly Higgins, who is proposing to the UN that Ecocide, the environmental equivalent of Genocide, becomes the 5th International Crime Against Peace, alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Crimes of Aggression and War Crimes. Polly, with a group of UK barristers and lawyers are... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Saturday, 18th February 2012
We have a special tree deep in a beech wood that gives us oyster mushrooms every year, usually after a cold snap. I went there this morning to see if the mycellium was running but it is still dormant. When the muchrooms grow they appear in wonderful fluted abundance and we can never eat them all fresh. Storing Oyster mushrooms do not like sealed... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Sunday, 22nd January 2012
For four decades, Richard Heinberg has been observing why our current growth based economy is unsustainable. He has written seminal books on peak oil and the global effects of the end of easily extracted cheap oil. We are now entering that period in human history. Oil prices are on the rise again and companies are mining oil from less easily... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 27th December 2011
2012 is a turning point. Of this be sure. It is our opportunity for positive change, yet most of us sense that the transition from the fossil fuel based hierarchical societies that run this planet will not be easy. There are struggles ahead. One of the most powerful agents of change is information so here are some free sources, plus inspiration... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 8th November 2011
I have been slowly reading a book for the last few months, a few pages at a time, like savouring a good meal. It is The Biochar Solution by Albert Bates. I met Albert at the Ecovillage Conference at Findhorn in 1995. He was an established permaculture teacher and leading light of the ecovillage movement and I was an unknown editor. It was an... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Monday, 31st October 2011
What Did You Do? It’s 3:23 in the morning And I’m awake because my great, great grandchildren won’t let me sleep. ... My great, great grandchildren ask me in dreams what did you do when the planet was plundered? What did you do when the earth was unravelling? Surely you did something when the seasons started failing as the mammals, reptiles,... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Monday, 24th October 2011
Transition is now a worldwide grassroots movement that looks climate change and peak oil squarely in the face and dismisses the utter impossibility of endless economic growth on a planet of finite resources. It offers community based solutions to help people in villages, towns and cities adapt to the inevitable challenges of the oncoming reality... more
 

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