Abbey Battle

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since Nov 11, 2015
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Studied fine art then discovered that being an artist was hard work.
I'm now trying to be as creative as I can in the great outdoors. Who knows where it will take me.
New journey.
Wealden AONB
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Recent posts by Abbey Battle

David Livingston wrote:Who is eating acorns ? well round here squirrels
We have european common oak -quercus petraca and What the French call Marsh oak- Chene das Marais- quercus palustris any idea if these are edible


All acorns are edible, some just have more tannins than others. These need leaching out which is very easy to do as the tannins are water soluble.
There are different methods, choice depends on what you want to do with your acorns. Hot leaching is the most effective (I have read), however this method is no good if you want to make acorn meal for baking. I'll try and find the linky thing that I was reading.
5 months ago
Agroforestry Research Trust

Martin Crawford has grown a food forest - or wood (as it's not a traditional English forest) on a 2 acre site in Dartington, (Devon, England), since 1992. This is more of an experimental and research site, rather than being optimally productive.
His book is entitled 'Creating a Forest Garden. (working with nature to grow edible crops).

Quotes: (copyright for educational purposes).
"A forest garden is a garden modelled on the structure of young natural woodland, utilising plants of direct and indirect benefit to people – often edible plants. It may contain large trees, small trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, root crops and climbers, all planted in such a way as to maximise positive interactions and minimise negative interactions, with fertility maintained largely or wholly by the plants themselves."

I have visited food forests on sites that have been less than an acre or even less than half an acre. I have seen very open food forests with only a couple of trees, to very tree heavy ones. Part of this is dependant on light levels. Here in England, light is poor so any canopy, however thin, can create dense shade under which nothing will grow. (esp if you are on the N. side of a hill. You may see no winter sun.
6 months ago
Yes - preservation of food is very problematic. I've just invested in a new chest freezer and an apple store (very small tool shed). But what to do with seasonal gluts? I'm not great on cooking / presering. I tend to eat raw. Eggs i can't use at the pace my chooks lay at. I give most of my eggs away. Apples and pears get given away as well.

My soil is horribly infertile, not really good for growing anything which is why it was so cheap and has historically been used for grazing and as a quarry. (Also iron ore extraction). The top soil is only a couple of inches deep before you hit sandstone. Saving grace is that there is a lot of water.

My orchard, (which is only 2 years old and yet to start producing fruit), is about an acre in size. I've planted other edibles around the edge, (again, too young to have started producing crops). I'm planning on planting more edibles this winter. Also extending my nut orchard.

I think if I want to become totally self sufficient, I will have to radically change my diet. I have had almost zero sucess with growing veggies. Even having built up the soil. I think to put any kind of fertility in the soil will take years. The trees I planted were planted in large holes with plenty of compost / organic matter. This should sustain them. I'll have to keep mulching with compost to improve the soil. At least I have plenty of leaf litter to go at.

I'm interested in your idea for a root cellar Travis. My worry is that where I am, the water table is very high. (or I am very low, almost sea level). Maybe I could build the cellar (at the top of the land), then dig a deeper drainage hole to take the water away to one of the ponds lower down.

Meanwhile, I'm still learning how to grow food. The raddishes did very well this year, problem, I really don't like raddishes. I thought I could persuade myself to, it just didn't work that way.
6 months ago
Tea. It's really too good to share with children.
Then there's ginger beer, that should never have been a childhood drink.
8 months ago
They like quite smelly water. Slightly stagnant so your tea is probably ideal with it's plant matter breaking down.
8 months ago
Daniel Schneider - Don't forget that artists were also apprenticed, which is why they are called Masters. It's the same origin.
Gestalt - what you described reminded me of my psychology lectures all those years ago.

Thinking about it, it's the inverse, the sum of the parts is greater (or more than) the whole.

Googling again - 'holism' - "the idea that natural systems and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not as collections of parts".

I've been searching Old English words today for a name for my field. Bit involved but I want something that fits. May be we'll have to start making words up - like in German.
Fibrecraft would be any craft that involves the use of fibre. I guess that it could easily overlap both fibreshed and fibre art. Though it doesn't have to.

As for bamboo - that is fibre in both it's raw state and very much so, it's processed state as both bamboo paper and textiles are fibre based. I would illiminate it as a fibre if it was being used as a pole say, to support plants ot for fencing / screening / building. I think here, we need to look at the way something is being used.
Recycled plastic bags in yarn, plastic bottles into string. There will always be things that don't quite fit but shouln't be excluded.
If you erquire som one else to build, then you'll have to investigate companies that can build where you are. Most barns are kit form unless you really want to design something bespoke.
you should just be able to google barns and find a company who will meeet you needs re location and barn design. They normally have self build or build for you options.

there's a shed company overr the road from me, when I made enqireries about a barn door, I was told that they just buy in all there shed and errect them. They don't even make them in their factory.

the brn in my field - was there when I bought the field - was errected by the previous owner and was a kit. Wasn't errected very well I hasten to add. I'm not sure timber is any cheaper than bricks and mortar, (brick manufactoring area not timber growing - probably has an impact).
11 months ago