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Permie Dreams in the UK

 
pollinator
Posts: 509
Location: Derbyshire, UK
88
cat urban chicken
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From my very shady 1/10th of a surburban acre in the UK Midlands I read about all the vast tracts of land in other countries and feel slightly jealous! I read about Rocket Mass Heaters and Composting Toilets, and can't quite work out how to get them past Building Control (or my neighbours) in this country, in a 'normal surburban' house! So what permie-style things are you doing in the UK? Do you have some land, are you saving madly for land, or are you growing vast amounts on your city-centre balcony to do your bit?

I have my shady little garden, which has been landscaped and planted with fruit bushes and veggie beds this year, the chicken coop is built and I'm awaiting some chickens and ducks. I'm renovating the house (slowly...) to be much more energy efficient (its a solid-brick Victorian semi, so we're adding insulation everywhere). I've done an 'Intro to Permaculture' which was lovely as I got to meet some like-minded people for the first time! And saw two LAND-centres, which was brilliant. And I'm reading any book/website/etc that I can get my hands on and looking for ideas that I can implement in my situation.

You?
 
Posts: 245
Location: Wales, UK
5
forest garden trees woodworking
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Hello Charli, I know where you're coming from with the jealousy-enducing tracts of land in foreign climes... I live on my folks' 18 acre hillside/smallholding but still find myself looking longingly at the climate and land prices abroad! I am saving madly with the intention of purchasing my own, hopefully flatter, land at some indeterminate point in the future.

We've been here just over two years and I'd say we've achieved quite a lot including 8 acres of newly planted woodland, 12 raised beds (with more to come), the beginnings of an orchard, chooks, a polytunnel, laid hedges, dry stone walls built, fences erected... Both my dad and I work full time though so progress is hindered somewhat. My dad is aiming for self-sufficiency in food and firewood, and I'd like to explore the money making potential of the place while I'm still here - I work for a veg box scheme so should have an outlet for the more typical varieties of fruit and veg assuming my boss doesn't consider it to be a conflict of interest. Next on the cards is additional tree planting, and I'm just about to start designing a forest garden which will probably be planted around this time next year.

I continue to read profusely around the subjects of PC, forest gardening, and gardening in general. I'm also participating on a course entitled 'The Fruit Garden' through which I'm learning design skills and both theoretical and practical knowledge of forest gardening, pruning and grafting.

How long have you been interested in gardening and Permaculture?
 
Charli Wilson
pollinator
Posts: 509
Location: Derbyshire, UK
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Hi Sam,

I'd say achieving all that in two years is amazing! I've managed 4 raised beds and a few fruit trees and thought that was hard work, I can't even imagine planting 8 acres of woodland!

I've been interested in permaculture for a lot longer than I've actively done anything about it, I think I 'found' permaculture about 3 years ago- but only acquired my own house 1 year ago- and we've been busy renovating and planting since! I don't think my pitiful attempts at a veggie patch on my parents patio before that really count....
 
Sam White
Posts: 245
Location: Wales, UK
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Ha, well, to be fair we only planted an acre or so ourselves and even then I bunch of mates helped out. We had a grant to plant the other 7 acres which paid for the trees and for a contractor to plant them. We're aiming to plant a few hundred more trees this season; we're under-planting telephone wires with hazel and small leaved lime which we'll coppice to keep short. Might do it ourselves although I'm sure some of my mates will be willing to come back.

S'all good experience, even if it is just a few containers on a patio! How's your first year of growing been in the new place?
 
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