Abbey Battle

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since Nov 11, 2015
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Recent posts by Abbey Battle

Shepards pie followed by apple crumble and custard for desert.
4 years ago
I always thought of finding / keeping the 'right' person as having two pieces to a puzzle. Ideally you want your partner to be your *best friend. (*of course you may have other best friends but you still need intimacy and honesty in a relationship).

How one actually goes about finding that person, I know not - very easy to pick up a man for a one night stand but to find some one with whom you can spend (?) the rest of your life with, that's another matter.
I met my partner when we were both at school, I knew that we would get together, when we did, we were young enough to evolve around each other. It worked well. Thing I didn't count on was him dying young. Once you are older, it's harder to find another piece of the puzzle that fits with yours because we all become that much more inflexible with age. Lucky for the person who can just up and away with nothing tying them down.

Still doesn't answer the question of how to find some one, esp as it's such low priority for me.
5 years ago
I thought that the generally perceived wisdom was not to plant trees on Hugels - as the hugel decomposes and collapses it will cause an unsteady ground for the tree which is then likely to topple. Maybe you have thought of a way around this however, I would not like to see your project fail.
5 years ago

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.
6 years 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 years 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 years ago
Tea. It's really too good to share with children.
Then there's ginger beer, that should never have been a childhood drink.
6 years ago
They like quite smelly water. Slightly stagnant so your tea is probably ideal with it's plant matter breaking down.
6 years ago
Daniel Schneider - Don't forget that artists were also apprenticed, which is why they are called Masters. It's the same origin.
6 years ago