Anthony Powell

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since Jul 29, 2018
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NW England
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Recent posts by Anthony Powell

Vili Doll wrote:Today I bought a coupon with which I will neutralize 4 tons a year for the next four years... I am wondering if anyone has already thought in this direction, and if you have ever heard anything about it???
It cost me 500€,
I mean I wanted to at least neutralize my footprint a little and help the planet.

This sounds like a carbon offsetting scheme. You pay your money, someone goes planting trees or something - to bury carbon. While you continue polluting...
The science says there's too much CO2 in the atmosphere, so we need to bury it and NOT create more. So everyone suggesting ways to cut their emissions are on the right track.
Basically, it comes down to philosophies:
*Share - tools, houses, vehicles, public facilities, natural resources
*Care - for people, nature, everything you or others value
*Link - let every action satisfy more than one purpose if you can
*Enjoy - what comes your way, rather than striving for the hard to get (unless you love hard work and banging your head against brick walls). Why take a handsome salary that requires you so spend half of it commuting, eating into home-time, and producing CO2 and other pollutants? We have brains to work out how to make the best of our situations.
2 weeks ago
John Pollard posted some nice links on a different thread, 4 years' ago. There were 5 links - 3 now sadly seem dead.

John Pollard wrote:Handy Table for general info like plant spacing for isolation - 5 pages

Small Scale Organic Seed Production - 40 pages

How to grow a seed collective - 40 pages

A Guide to SeedSaving, SeedStewardship & Seed Sovereignty - 22 pages

The Woody Plant Seed Manual - 1241 pages

Benjamin Abby wrote:Barbara, I wished I had you to fix my yard up or to talk about it at least.  Mine is currently a massive work project trying to convert the front yard into a Garden of Eden-ish beauty whlle remaining edible.  But that is a great method because I have noticed that I sell more people due to the looks of certain perennials that also produce.  I have many flower people take a sunchoke after seeing them (I warn them about the spread).  

My favourite way with sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes over here) is fresh, scrubbed clean and raw - sweet and crunchy.
Dahlias also look good, have tasty flowers and were originally grown for their tubers - like sunchokes, loaded with inulin. Get the full size varieties - the small ones have tiny tubers.
If you've somewhere with reliable groundwater, bistort looks good (Persicaria bistorta): historically valued for spring greens, not great flavour, flowers loved by bees. Mine thrives on sandy soil on the shady side of the house, dying back during drought. Similar conditions liked by meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria, flowers great in herb tea.
3 weeks ago

Mark Beard wrote:
I made soap only once… used bacon grease and lye I boiled down from water that soaked through a barrel of wood ash.  Trying it out once was enough for me 😆

Take care with that kind of lye - neat Potassium hydroxide will find the fat in your skin to make soap with! But it was ideal in the days when clothes rarely met a wash, especially when you wiped your greasy hands on your clothes!
1 month ago

Samantha Lewis wrote:
You might be able to find someone locally who is raising sheep or goats for milk and or fiber.  You could help with fencing or farm chores and trade for milk or wool to spin.

You would get experience with different animals and you can get started playing with making cheese and spinning even before you have your own animals.   .  

I have found a very valuable trade I can give is being a farm sitter.
People with farm animals often need a reliable farm sitter.   If I am going to travel,  I feel so much better having someone who knows my animals, looking in on them.  

WWOOF, Willing Workers on Organic Farms, may be a source of volunteers, or an outlet for your skills, depending on your situation. USA branch:, branches worldwide

Over here in the UK, farmers have issues disposing of sheep fleeces, often incurring more cost shearing than they get from selling. Certain varieties have premium fleeces, with good markets. Others are self-shedding, like the original wild. So if you're choosing your flock for wool and milk, I'd say make sure you've got a market for your fleece!
I've just heard talk of pyrolysing the unwanted wool for a spray-on plant health product.
1 month ago
All sorts of recipes involve milk, but some involve more than others..
Around here, west of the Pennines, you can't find Yorkshire Curd Tarts, which I enjoyed while in Hull. Example recipe (most involve bought curd cheese)
Here we have to make do with the ubiquitous Egg Custard Tart, eg - the more nutmeg the better!
We can buy canned rice pudding, but it's no match for milk, sugar and rice, with a dusting of nutmeg, done slowly in the oven - with a skin that, as kids, we used to compete for, and for the scrapings from the pyrex bowl. Lots of fancy recipes out there, wiping the bowl with butter the only extra our mum used.
1 month ago
Paint, glue, buttons, fibres, tooth remineralisation - under 'casein' in wikipedia -
1 month ago

John Venn wrote:
Now that I am writing about this, if you want a frankentree, I thing you need to do a chipbudding or oculate the tree. If you craft a branch I think the tree will invest in its own branches rather than the graft but I have no experience in this. (I want to do this myself, so please, let me know) I only know that the rootstock will develop shoots that need to be trimmed back during the summer or otherwise the scion will die off, even if it took in the beginning.

I've grafted a Wisley Crab onto a runt seedling, that already had many branches. I trimmed back competing nearby branches. That was enough - the WC's away. It's a fairly vigorous rootstock, so could be a while before I get fruit. I'm now after using two side limbs for alternative scions.
What I worry about is folks guerilla grafting onto street ornamentals, inserting twigs below the crown. They risk being shaded out.
1 month ago

marie-helene kutek wrote:
The topic reminded me of a BBC UK  TV series that ran in 1987 - the victorian kitchen garden, with a book by Jennifer Davies, which is in my library, well, on a shelf
I had on very quick look on the net. There is reference to the series, not sure if it streams. That’s beyond my connection.

2h38m of Victorian Kitchen Garden.
1 month ago

Gina Jeffries wrote:
I do have a really awesome grafting tool that works well on larger branches with no chance of slicing my thumb open. The grafts I made last year with it look awesome!

Grafting tool

Using a sharp knife, I wear a leather gardening glove on the hand that's in the direction of the blade, and cut steadily with a rocking motion.
Interestingly, I looked up Gina's grafting tool - and found an alternative, looks almost identical except appears to have 2 blades not 3, for a lot less + postage . Same maker or a clone of lesser quality? I've had an issue with Hohner harmonicas - expensive in cardboard box good, cheap lookalike with Hohner case etc  not tuned.
1 month ago