Photo update!

Our #backyardchickens needed a wind shelter facing away from the alley. Got some willow rods on order to GROW them one but that won’t be ready this season. Using what I already had – an old mini greenhouse! I’ve taken out the wire shelves and some of the internal poles to make it more perchable, and fixed it to the frame of the run. Also moved in some old wood for enrichment. Yes, I spoil them. #grow #mend #reuse #blog
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Photo update!

After a precautionary soak in boiling water, I have now replaced the 3 piece plastic and plastic foam #waterfilter in our #tropicalfishtank with loofah. The key to fitting, by the way, is to carve with a bread knife. It certainly functions well enough: let’s see how it goes. Internet research says a few months before it needs to go in the compost but of course this is not a widely publicised use for it. #zerowaste #blog #lessplastic #thinkdifferently
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Photo update!

Last year we switched to #vinegar mix #cleaningspray and haven’t looked back. Nor have we died from plague, as leading commercial cleaner adverts would like to imply! We have been scenting it with essential oils, spearmint for choice. Today I’ve started an experiment to see if soaking orange peel in the undiluted vinegar really does scent it. Day 1. 568ml of white vinegar (bought in a glass bottle for choice). 1 orange peel ( which will be added to as more are eaten!) #zerowaste #mend #reuse #reduce #blog
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Photo update!

It’s a cold rainy day. It seems so hard to remember the drought and water restrictions last summer: but I need to prepare for the same again else we may struggle to water our crops as we increase what we #grow.

This morning I made some time to take some measurements and look properly for the first time as to where our down pipes are at the back of the house, which is where all the growing will be happening. The main roof only has one, which comes down by the alley: making it unhelpfully located for #rainwaterharvesting . It does pass right by the flat roof that serves as a balcony though! So I could put 2 interlinked 200l butts up there. The water pressure would be great but not sure if turning it on and off will be a massive effort. Mainly this idea seems dubious due to the weight factor: water is heavy.

Moving on: the small roof down pipe is by a clematis arch and seats that we actually don’t use. I’m thinking that’s the prime site for some interlinked butts.

Did you know in the UK that some councils provide subsidised water butts and compost bins? Have a look at getcomposting.com – our postcode gives us access to 200l water butts at £30 each (and discounts for multiples of 2) complete with diverted kits, taps and stands. They also sell kits to connect butts for £6 in my area – I worked out last night that I could daisychain together and store 800l of rainwater for about £120.

I can’t find any cheaper way of getting that much storage in one go unless I get a food grade IBC carrier (1000l) – but that doesn’t include a diverter and the only reasonable place out the back to put it is currently not near a down pipe. I’d need to get some guttering work done to enable the IBC and that’s not in scope yet.

So although it seems a shame to ignore the main roof for now, I’m going to focus on doing something affordable and achievable. #blog #sustainability
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Photo update!

Each Sunday the egg tally from the chalkboard in the kitchen goes into my #bulletjournal tracker. The top section is for daily egg count, marked out into weeks. I’m collecting daily counts as I can then reuse the data in Excel if I want to do something like try to correlate the daily number of eggs with the average daily hours of sunlight, for example (the #analyst in me). The bottom grid is to track the monthly tasks that need doing. Each of the little chicken doodles has been coloured in to represent one of our eight #hens. #grow #make #informationisbeautiful #blog
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2019 Grow, Make, Mend

Hello, 2019.

Hello, 2019. Yes, we’re still here!

Blog entries on this site dried up by mid 2018. I’d forgive you if you thought we had gone away. Much like our garden in the summer heatwave! Those of you who were watching the Instagram feed page will have noticed that Instagram was really working for us, whereas this blog got a bit overwhelming.

So what’s going to happen in the year ahead? Key Instagram posts are going to appear here on the blog too. Thank you to If This Than That for some nifty automation. I’ll be popping back here every few weeks at the most to add some original content. Getting some priorities right for the year ahead!

In the meantime, keep reading to find out more about what happened in our garden throughout last year. Continue reading “2019 Grow, Make, Mend”