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Calne, Wiltshire, UK- New Project

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Hi there,

We've just acquired a piece of land through the landshare scheme and I've started a blog on what's going on which you can see here:

I'm hoping for a bit of general discussion really. This is our first practical project, we really want to grow our own food and we know quite a bit about permaculture although have had no formal training. Our main desires here are education and food production but we also want to use this project as a demonstration of the potential of permaculture on a small scale in urban areas.
Our issues are that:
we can't make any large investment in the land a) because it isn't ours nor do we have any kind of contract and b) we really want to show that you can do these things with little money and lots of co-operation
we have to make the land productive quite quickly to justify our presence there- we can't follow the 12 month rule
we aren't 100% confident about what to do first, especially in February. My pre-programmed mind is telling me to dig over the land, put compost in, terrace, raised beds- anything other than leave it alone
we need fast, non permanent, easy, cheap fencing to protect our land from the horses in the other half of the field

Any comments and feedback welcome
Thanks all

Posts: 196
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Hi Yogibear,
    Have you checked out the people at Findhorn? They do a fair amount of permaculture. They are spiritual and good people willing to share what they have learned.
    Here's their website-you may want to speak with them.

As one who has had to learn to make due with what is at hand- have you made a list of local resources, free and easily handled?
You mentioned a neighbor with horses-do they stable their horses? Or is there anyone nearby that does, or has a feedlot or pens that need cleaning?

How close are you to a rock source? Is there rock on the land?

Are there trees that need thinning, or removed nearby?
Buildings that need salvaging or construction sites that will allow you to take their "throw aways".

What skills do you that can be bartered? Are there people nearby that can use your skills?

How well do you know the community your land is in? People needing day lilies thinned out, suckers off of berry plants removed, garden sales/swaps are all sources you can use for your project. Often seeds and plants will be shared/given also-it may be just a matter of asking.

Do you know farmers in the area or the owner of the local tire changing shop? Does your local dump allow gleaning?

Get to know the fellas at your local road department-yes, it's government, but their waste can be a gold mine for you.

Local restaurant/grocery owners, are they willing to give you their produce waste?

Newspapers and cardboard-are they collected for recycling? If not they have a myriad of uses and are worth collecting.

Leaves from nearby villages-how are they disposed of? Do people rake them up and throw away, or are they even raked up? Vacant lots in town-who removes the weeds and leaves from them?

There are so many avenues to do what you are looking to do, its just a matter of seeing what is at hand or has the potential to be useful. You're only limited by your own imagination.
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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Greetings Yogibear,

There are a lot of internet sites about guerilla gardening.

One I visited in Vancouver BC was quite active with a section just for teenagers and their projects such as wetland restoration and another section for local apartment dwellers that wanted to garden.  They each got something like a 20'x20' plot. 

My point is that guerilla gardeners don't have money to spend so you might pick up a lot of quick and easy ideas from them. 

If trained to an electric fence two wires is enough to contain horses.          G
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