Nick Mason

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since Feb 20, 2013
Devon UK
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Recent posts by Nick Mason

Thought that I would create a green tinge in the eye of all no-diggers! You can see that I live in sunny Devon in the South West of the UK, so I have had the great pleasure visiting Charles Dowding on open days at his Somerset market garden. It is a revelation seeing everything growing at full throttle and productivity. Mr. Dowding's methods work very well and make growing a pleasurable and rewarding occupation with maximum return on the reduced effort expended. Really worthwhile watching his Youtube channel. Even better to visit in person and meet the man himself!
2 months ago
Try the Niwaki hand trowel/knife from Japan. Very useful for deep rooted weed extraction. Or, for surface weeding, you cannot beat the reciprocating hoe. This is available with different widths of blade, depending on the access limits between the crops/plants you are hoeing around. For those of a perverse frame of mind, I still use the left-handed sickle that my Father purchased 50 years ago for his own use. It took me a long time to be able to use this tool as I am more right-handed than left! Reminds me of my lovely Old Man whenever I use it! The odd thing is I now weed by hand using my left hand only, cannot do it properly with the right.
Have a great day!
3 months ago
Compost/manure; no-dig raised beds and time are the only suggestions I can offer. What I have here in sunny Devon to grow on is very heavy clay with flint. Very difficult to work, that is why most farms in our very rural area grow grass for all the cattle and sheep that we grow. So get nature to do the work for you and minimise the back-breaking idea of doing any digging. I wish you the best of all growing seasons. I hope that COVID-19 has not visited you and yours yet; stay safe.
6 months ago
Can definitely recommend River Cottage Handbook No:13 Curing & Smoking. The author is a gentleman called Steve Lamb, who is a master of the 'dark arts' of charcuterie. Entertaining writer and speaker/demonstrator who definitely knows a good piece of bacon. Hugh FW has performed a great service to the bacon eaters world by encouraging Mr. Lamb in his endeavours. Going to have a bacon sandwich now!
1 year ago
I am surprised that contributors are arguing about this.
Just have a look at Sir David Attenborough's latest TV program on the BBC, this should be compulsory viewing for all the 'flat-earthers and head-buriers' on the planet. Schools and young people should also include this in environmental education.
I think that the 'non-believers' could also investigate why we are reading headline articles on the BBC entitled "Why is the US so bad at recycling?", (major US cities suspending their recycling programs because they can no longer offload rubbish to China now). Similarly, a program highlighting pollution on the island of Aldabra in the Indian Ocean shows the plastic pollution generated by African countries, the Indian sub-continent and the islands of Indonesia (tortoises eating plastic waste and green turtles unable to lay their eggs on beaches polluted with plastic flotsam). If you don't believe this then watch the programs.
Please do not think that I am pointing the finger at any particular nationalities, these examples quoted are what is being highlighted currently. I am well aware of our own failings on this side of the Pond in the UK and in Europe. Extinction Rebellion have been pretty active in the last few weeks in the UK. Naturally, the silence from politicians and civil servants in Whitehall and Brussels is deafening now. Big Business can stop looking in the other direction as well.
So, I hope that you will forgive this rant, but please stop the arguing & arm-chair pontificating. Start addressing what we as individuals can do now - in the short term, the medium term and the long term. Start formulating one day, one week, one month, one year, 5 year, 10 year, 50 year plans with the politicians (or without them).
Just do it! Or am I just preaching to the converted?
1 year ago
Here is a much too simple fix for remedying this problem. Perhaps we should start lobbying the manufacturers to stop using labels which are impossible or very difficult to remove? It is pertinent to note that a lot of these labels are plastic based. Why do the labels need to be plastic which requires an adhesive which is probably petroleum based? Having to shred these labels to remove them must be contributing to plastic contamination of the water used in the process. Let alone the use of alcoholic solvents to deal with the adhesive residues. Much better to use a paper label with an appropriate adhesive which allows easy removal by the hot water soaking method. Am I being too simplistic?
1 year ago
All the water taxi operators in Amsterdam, Netherlands are converting their boats to electric propulsion. One of the biggest operators is installing Li-Fe-PO4 batteries in his boats. The reason for the choice is that the batteries are capable of being operated on a 48 hour charging cycle (hence do not have to provide one charge station for each boat); the use of Fe is a more ecological choice as opposed to Cobalt (much more expensive and less accessible); charging is relatively fast and the batteries are easier to produce and less prone to price fluctuations.
Short article available on www.bbc.co.uk by Matthew Wall (Technology of Business Editor).
Hope this is of benefit.
2 years ago
Get yourself a really good chiropractor to start, who will mobilise you. In other words, get you moving by careful assessment of your situation followed by manipulation. This may take a few weeks but patience is a virtue in these circumstances.
The natural reaction to vast pain, as in your case, is to lock out as this is the least painful option. Sadly, this is a bad move as your muscles stiffen & lock, and the process spirals into immobility leading to more pain & discomfort.
Take the guidance of a chiropractor professional and get mobile, then while you are improving, analyse how the problem has occurred. Decide whether you need to alter lifestyle and avoid trigger factors. These may include such contentious issues as carrying those extra pounds/kilos that you resolved to lose in your New Year resolutions. Sorry to be blunt, but excess weight is not good for the spine and certainly not in an already weakened anatomy.
Lastly, the use of oral analgesics such as paracetamol does help. If only to give the opportunity for a little respite from the discomfort. Some advocate adding ibuprofen to this as an anti inflammatory, and short term use can be very useful in these circumstances. A professional may already be advising you of this.
Hope you feel better soon.
4 years ago
Many thanks Art. Much appreciated.
4 years ago
Help please! I would really appreciate some direction from other contributors to technical publications for grey water system construction in the UK. Buying a property in Devon (hopefully); high water costs for this county translate into adopting water recycling/recovery systems on the property as quickly as possible. As I am rather illiterate about plumbing and associated skills, can anyone please give suggestions?
Many thanks in advance & hello to Art Ludwig!
4 years ago