old pallets

An old post from a previous blog worth sharing again as we’re at that time of year and it kicks off this new waste not want not category nicely!
Permaculture and pallets
I know a few people with a crazy pallet obsession 😀
They can be very useful. I decided to have a go myself.
I was quite keen to introduce more herbs and salad leaves that I use everyday around the kitchen door to ‘zone one’ as the ‘permies’ might say.
It turned out that a couple of spare pallets donated from a friend were perfect for this.
No need to purchase/buy/invest in a single thing. Little effort for a lot of reward.

“The purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it’s reuse.” -Issey Miyake

 View from the doorway.
Salads and herbs close to hand.
How much might I be spending on bags of fresh salad leaves and fresh herbs to use everyday?
This has cost absolutely nothing
and I haven’t contributed to any destruction of the environment either through supporting the farming practices that would have been used to grow something I could have bought in a supermarket.
“We live in a disposable society. It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name – we call it recycling.” -Neil Labute
 No DIY skills needed either turn the pallet over stand it up and secure it with bricks in the bottom or anchor onto the wall.
Makes a useful storage or tidy space too
plant pots sit right in
“There is no away” Barry commoner. 
These are his 4 laws of ecology.
  • Everything Is Connected To Everything Else.  There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.  Humans and other species are connected/dependent on other species.  With this in mind it becomes hard to practise anything other than compassion and harmlessness.
  • Everything Must Go Somewhere.There is no “waste” in nature, and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown.  Everything, such as wood smoke, nuclear waste, carbon emissions, etc., must go somewhere.
  • Nature Knows Best.  Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is “likely to be detrimental to that system.”
  • There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.  Exploitation of nature will inevitably involve the conversion of resources from useful to useless forms.  In nature, both sides of the equation must balance, for every gain there is a cost, and all debts are eventually paid.
  I have also reused containers from the kitchen that were saved waiting for a use
 My two year old put this little empty pot in here after we’d finished some raspberries. Its *that* easy.
You will undoubtedly have seen this but it always makes me smile
“The world generates about a billion tons of garbage a year. Those who live with it and from it are the poor – like the people of Cateura, Paraguay. And here they are transforming it into beauty. Landfill Harmonic follows the Orchestra as it takes its inspiring spectacle of trash-into-music around the world. Follow the lives of a garbage picker, a music teacher and a group of children from a Paraguayan slum that out of necessity started creating instruments entirely out of garbage. Landfill Harmonic is a beautiful story about the transformative power of music, which also highlights two vital issues of our times: poverty and waste pollution.”
Advertisements

Backyard hens

Just over 2 weeks ago we got our first hens, a lohman brown and a hybrid silkie. They had to stay in the run for a few days to get their bearings We decided to keep hens because we want … Continue reading

making a wreath

I hadn’t ever gotten around to giving this a go, and I always wanted to, but I thought you needed to have a lovely garden with hazel or willow. You can make a wreath with dogwood, any flexible branch of … Continue reading

medlars!

So this year I had my very first medlars, from 2 medlar trees in the garden. Medlar trees are really very beautiful with a pleasing angular shape to the trees; very pretty leaves just turning a golden yellow aganst almost … Continue reading

Garden update

A little round up of what is still growing in the garden as we head into the colder half the year at the end of the harvest.

The ‘radiator’ idea seems to be working and we may well yet manage our first butternut 🙂

First time at butternut

I may have to pick them and find uses soon

P1010606 P1010607 P1010608

 

Some of the flowers that are picking out the blazing Autumn colours.

 few sunflowers left to collect seed from, calendula still blooming wonderful autumnal colour, as are the natrutiums, a few self seeds from summer/spring have taken and grown too. even a little pea 🙂

DSC_1107 DSC_1110DSC_1108  P1010311 P1010305 P1010303

 

The Russian vines leaves are dropping fast now

P1010307

Tomatoes are still swelling on the vine

I will harvest any before the first frosts and use a heavily spiced traditional russian recipe for green tomatoes (or apples) for making chutney

 

DSC_1115

some even ripening in the autumnal sunshine.

DSC_1113

cabbages are doing great

P1010617

I intend to make a ruby sauerkraut with some and sweet pickles too

P1010611 P1010610 P1010609

The medlars  are new trees and I am pleased they have fruited well enough for me to use something. I am starting to grow my own trees for the future.

P1010728

 Medlar need to stay on the tree untill after the first frosts when they have been softened or spoiled slightly. You can pick them and leave them to ‘blet’ in the traditional way.

This means leaving them until they have just begun to rot slightly. It deepens and sweetens the flavour making them more useful and much more appetising.

I have never tried Medlar I shall update with how we get on.

P1010732

Leeks are doing well too

DSC_1105

honeysuckle hand and foot cream

This  is very simple, inexpensive, smells good and lasts well in the fridge. It is my own recipe and works for me.

You need:

candelilla wax (or beeswax that may smell different, not always pleasant)

Carrier oil, infused with honeysuckle from my garden

water, infused with rose or calendula is good. or green tea

you may want to check if you are using infused or essential oils that what you use will still be safe when mixed with other products; combinations of ingredients can change the properties.

If you use flowers they will need to be grown without chemicals!

I used olive oil which is heavy but my feet are extremely dry. I would use it again, for this purpose, in the past I have disliked it. You might prefer to use coconut or sweet almond oil

You will also need a blender, a stick one works too,  I tried both and preferred the attachment in my counter top one for making mayonnaise.

DSCF2783

honey suckle has natural antibacterial properties and is good for sore throats too

Ingredients

1/2 cup infused/plain water at room temperature (or green tea)

4 tablespoons carrier oil

1 tablespoon candelilla wax

1 tablespoon of your favorite essential or infused oil

(This made a small jar for me, I found once or twice there was more water than needed I just tipped it off, maybe it had seperated a bit)

Method

1. Add the oil and wax to a heatproof bowl

10693228_1553429538209269_1564772178_n

2. Set in a saucepan of water that reaches halfway up the side and heat on low just until the wax melts. Remove the mixture from the heat, and let it cool for one or two minutes only.

3. Pour the  water into your blender and turn it on high. Slowly add your wax mixture to the water. It will begin to thicken and become creamy and rich as you add the last drops.

10691850_1526531244256917_254413996_n

Or use a stick blender in the bowl

4. Once well blended, add your drops of essential/infused oil and mix everything together very well.

5. Pour your new natural lotion into a small jar, using a plastic spatula to get the blender as clean as possible, cleaning off the rest with your hands (you don’t want to put wax down your kitchen sink)

1971512_337490053092608_388382970_n

Your new lotion will last up to six months in the refrigerator. You can experiment using different combinations of essential or infused oils, ideal for gifts

927168_306024582934311_580249440_n

This one in the centre was calendula infused oil and calendula water

How to make lip balms

I notice my lips feeling a bit drier lately; the weather is turning and becoming much cooler. I searched for an old balm, and couldnt find it. I didnt want to buy a new one,  you might have read in … Continue reading

Free flowers

‘Seasonal hand tied posy’; pick some flowers from the garden, put them in a jar on the kitchen windowsill. Instant cheer! Infintitely more environmentally friendly and definitely cheaper than buying them. I like to forage wild flowers, beautful and always … Continue reading

Autumnal suspense

We have been out walking in the golden sunshine, now much lower in the afternoon sky and enjoying the space and time outdoors connecting with the woodlands and trees. On one walk we were lucky to see nuthatchers and tree creepers and were told where they like to feed in the coming winter months.

DSCF2913

The music of the far-away summer flutters around the Autumn seeking its former nest. ~Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds  

   It feels like the cusp of change the days soon becoming filled with foraging and preserving.

003ec-oct20131426

Chestnuts are good in pies and risotto. They make a good preserve with rum for making chocolate truffles as gifts

5cf5b-028

Eating apples and crab apples for jelly

I enjoy taking the time to notice little changes as they arrive and prepare myself for the coming winter months. I enjoy making the most of what nature is literally bestowing on us with gifts of apples, pears, medlars, berries, nuts and collecting the last of summer herbs before they too fade.

DSCF2941DSCF2938DSCF2939DSCF2945

 Self-seeded borage (and a tiny chamomile) from summer plants. Some of the herbs and flowers still going, roses flowered all winter last year! Life is always pushing forwards and making the most of it.

DSCF2946

medlar and lettuce setting seed in the garden

DSCF2943

Autumn reds doing well

The trees beginning to rush a display of beautiful colours which will be bursting with flaming red and oranges until they eventually become bare and bereft, storing enery and quietly waiting for spring.

DSCF2915 DSCF2913 DSCF2910

We have been foraging elderberries to make syrups and tinctures for the winter months ahead and we have started foraging mushrooms. This is a new skill I am learning so I am tentatively -and wisely, sticking to the ones I have learned with confidnce and that cannnot be mistaken for anything unpleasant, you can not identify a mushroom without first consulting a couple of books you well trust and examining a specimen closely. It is a perfect Autumn passtime, bringing me close to the earth, to the sustinence nature provides whilst also reminding to me to watch and study with great care and respect.

DSCF2843

edible stump puffball mushrooms

Death is literally hanging in the air along with this abundance

DSCF2961

Orb spider and a honey bee. Usually only the females build webs.

Yet as a flower fades, turns to seed and finally dies back, it may look death and total destruction but we know that come spring a tiny seedling will form and life carries on, in the way we expect and take too much for granted.

DSCF2965

If you stand still outside you can hear it… Winter’s footsteps, the sound of falling leaves. ~Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata

Perhaps it is the most poetic of seasons. Surely as winter comes spring will follow.

DSCF2957

It is the most extraordinary dance filled with energy and stillness. Perfect and miraculous balance.

Butternut squash

This year I grew butternut squash for the first time I got my seeds from http://www.realseeds.co.uk/index.html I chose the ‘Waltham’ butternut. It was bred by the Massachusetts Ag. Extension Service in the 1960’s by crossing ‘New Hampshire Butternut’ with a … Continue reading