• Courses

    Apprentices March 2017

    Thank you, this is what comes to mind when I think of the first three months of our growing season here this year. We have been accepting permaculture students here for eight years now and one comment or demand we have had constantly is why is there so few practical activities during the Permaculture Design Certificate Course? (PDC.) While the answer is simple, it’s a 72 hour theoretical course to equip students to design, this still leaves PDC students with huge holes in their practical skills and knowledge. Both students and volunteers have demanded more from us more knowledge, practical activities and skills building, but while we want to supply…

  • Courses

    PDC feedback from 2016

    We recently found these in a jam jar in the cellar, we don’t ask for this kind of thing but it’s always nice to be appreciated.     We would like to thank everyone for their feedback and wish them all the best in the tough times that are now undoubtedly ahead of us all.  

  • Courses,  Diet,  Food,  Interns

    Saturday Morning Off

    While taking time out at the weekends is incredibly important to Fiona and I we are here trying to hold ourselves to a higher moral standard both for our lives and the lives of the animals we eat, sometimes this means we don’t get that time out. Saturdays and Sundays we normally do the least work we have to do to care for the animals and process the milk from our expanding herd, and then take time out to do things we enjoy. Taking a coffee in the corner of a market square, going to a Brocante (flea market) or taking a walk somewhere beautiful which have no shortage of.…

  • Courses,  Craft,  Plants & Trees

    Joy of Simple Things

    “A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” John Keats Today was not extraordinary in any way, I woke to the movement of Fiona wriggling herself in to my lap for our ritual daily spoon. I know it’s just a simple thing but one I cherish even look forward to, it’s one of the greatest joys of my life, a simple embrace filled with love for each other. Then we rose to feed the animals, Fiona put hay and straw down for the cows and I fed the chickens and collected their eggs. I noticed the wonderful scene left by last…

  • Compost,  Courses,  Interns

    Compost Showers

    I guess most people wonder what showers and compost have to do with each other, being showered with compost is probably not anyone’s idea of being cleaned. However there is a perfectly valid connection and it’s one we have been exploiting now for four years and to good effect. Most people want to have a warm or even a hot shower most of the time, with the exception of perhaps in really hot weather. A well constructed compost heat can and does produce exceptional amounts of heat. This heat is usually not exploited, and is seldom exploited to good effect outside of hot beds, which are gaining popularity again within…

  • Building,  Courses

    Green Wood Terrace Cover

    During 2015 we held two “Natural Building” courses the second one put a permanent cover over our existing terrace area, this is where we eat during all our courses. The door at the back leads to our summer kitchen equipped with a Rayburn wood fired cooker, stainless steel work area and double sink. The terrace is then the dinning room and social gathering area for visitors and students, we also use it for entertaining and celebrations. During 2016 we will be holding another course and constructing a similar frame and roof to cover our blacksmithing and green-woodworking area. The photos below give some insight in to the process of the…

  • Courses,  Diet,  Food,  Interns,  Land

    A day in our life

    Firstly I should say there is no such thing as a typical day in our lives. Some things have to happen every day as you will see but other are only done once or twice a year. Some things are done every day for weeks then not done again for a year and other are done once a week every week. This is the joy of living a life in tune with the natural forces around us our life is cyclical.   I’m writing this in part to give potential apprentices/interns some idea of what to expect when they come to live and work with us, but it’s also a…

  • Courses,  Plants & Trees,  Uncategorized

    Poem by Lucie Bardos

    The Seedling Here in the dark depths of the Earth’s finest loam death and decay are king, and all kinds of wrigglers roam. But here too birth and rebirth spring forth; a tiny whirring, stirring in a miniscule seed; as the first soft tendrils of life reach for the sun, soils nutrients bathe this delicate, new, young one. “We need each other” whisper the fungi that swap sugar for ions; for aeons they’ve hugged plant roots; mycelium webs weave through soils, humus and shoots. Then mycorrhizal bacteria fix nitrogen and shake hands with plants. An exchange of energy -a deal has been struck. “All this symbiotic magic down in this…

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