Charmian Larke

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since Jul 07, 2016
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Recent posts by Charmian Larke

My understanding is that solid materials are needed to  be affective as a  noise barrier. Willow walls are a good example.   They are made of live willow cuttings placed into an earth barrier held in place with wooden or other material fencing to the height required. For the first one to two years the wall will need watering, but not generally once the willow roots are established. This type of construction looks green and healthy very quickly and can be built straight or round curves easily.  See  for a presentation on different types of green walls for sound attenuation.
It may be interesting to look at the use of a Stirling engine. These are external combustion engines and can take a range of heat sources. There are small ones available and one example is shown in      Stirling engines have struggled over the years to find a big enough market as they are not highly efficient, but in remote locations or special circumstance they provide a good solution.
1 year ago
Based in Cornwall UK- so fire not a problem- rain is a major element here!

As we are in Cornwall we are within an area of Cornish hedges- these are stone walls some 4 foot high made with stones and soil and planted on the top, with trees such as holly and hawthorn, black thorn etc.  Hence the starting point for all the brambles.  Hacking blackberry bushes back is a big task each winter- so that we can access different areas.   Interesting idea on distracting the rabbits with parsley- but it is not tough enough for round here, and would soon be grown over with grass and brambles, or ivy in shady areas.  Slugs are rather partial to sunflowers and all squashes/gourds. We had six foot high sunflower plants felled by slugs one summer.   Ideally we should be eating the rabbits..... in true  permaculture fashion.
2 years ago
Great to see the mix of tree species. We planted a range of tree species on one acre 30 years ago, and then another acre  seven years ago.  Main things we have learnt from this  are
- keep the trees in some kinds of lines rather than random- could be curved lines rather than straight- or it is too easy to lose them  in the long grass when they are small
- be careful if using a scythe to cut the grass- we lost a few to "Sheffield blight" i.e. cut them down by mistake
- chestnut is brilliant at keeping down the undergrowth really quickly as the leaves form a weed suppressing layer within four years or so
-  we planted at six foot centres and there have been so few losses that it would have been better further apart, as the coppicing and general management is difficult at this spacing- we need more room between trees
- maybe cut the grass for the first few years to deter brambles- this is the main problem for us in new woodland and even many years after the tree canopy has closed they are still strong- except under chestnut.
- if you can plant with mycorrhizal fungi as this speeds up growth a lot
- our main threat is rabbits- so every tree needs a rabbit guard- we have found that translucent ones break down in a year or so, so go for solid colour ones which appear to be UV stabilised and will last for many years
2 years ago
Good to see the pictures of the lovely pies. However I noticed that all the pastry appeared to be using white flour. If you want to make pastry with wholemeal flour it is very important to use warm water to mix into the flour. The temperature of the fat/oil is not so important, but if you use cold water then the pastry is very hard and  cracks easily. Warm for wholemeal!

2 years ago

Following a different approach to diabetes type 1 healing would be to take up Tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique

See this link for an example for healing autoimmune disorders.

I have used EFT for a number of conditions and found it very helpful.   The key is to go into as much detail as possible in the phrasing of the issue to be healed  whilst tapping on the appropriate places around the head, face and upper body.   The linked video shows how to do this.
It works: try it
2 years ago