An exciting new Biodynamic / Permaculture farm project is getting off the ground in the hamlet of Week near Totnes in South Devon. This is your chance to purchase shares in the land and be a part of the future of progressive farming in the UK.
Shares available from £100 – £20,000 so there’s something for everyone!
The Dartington Estate are selling a 36 acres site to the Biodynamic Land Trust (BDLT) who have been raising funds for the purchase by way of a shareholder scheme. The share offer was launched in July and officially ended in October but there is further capital to raise so share offers are still being accepted.
The Apricot Centre – currently located in East Anglia – has been invited to take the lease on this exciting venture and will be responsible for setting up the project. The project will be designed with permaculture principles and using biodynamic methods.
Ultimately they will provide vegetables, fruit from the orchards, cows and eggs. Other key strands of the project will include adult education courses such as permaculture, sustainable living and biodynamic methods; school visits including farm tours, ‘pick, cook, eat’ days and apple harvest festivals; a wellbeing strand for onsite psychotherapy, yoga and meditation. The project is at the early stages of development, much local input will be sought through a long engagement process with the surrounding community to generate ideas, other aspects are likely to be added later on.
Through the use of permaculture design and biodynamic methods it is expected that soil fertility will be enhanced, biodiversity will increase and yield volumes and quality will improve. Continue reading
“Grow Wild has thousands of free seed kits to share so people can transform their local spaces into beautiful, inspiring and colourful wild flower havens.
Join one of the UK’s biggest-ever seed sowing campaigns and help to create over one million square metres of wild flowers in spring 2015.
Register today to receive wild flower seeds native to your country for you to share with people in your formal and informal group/s, including activity clubs, societies, work places, schools and neighbourhoods.
There are 120,000 free kits up for grabs and all you need to do to register on behalf of your group/s is fill in Grow Wild’s simple two-minute form at www.growwilduk.com/register-seed-kit
Registration closes at midnight on 14 February 2015 and the kits will be sent out in late March, just in time for spring sowing.
Please pass on this registration web link to other groups you know that might also like to join.
Our 3,700 group leaders who received spring 2014 kits can register again for our spring 2015 kits.”
The Soil Association has written about the wider impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on all forms of life. A leading bee researcher, Professor Dave Goulson of Sussex University, stated at the Soil Association Conference in October 2014:-
“Five neonicotinoid dressed maize seeds, or 32 dressed oilseed rape seeds, are enough to kill a partridge.”
Some of these pesticides have been banned by the EU but only for a short period; and the UK Government has already permitted the use of two neonicotinoids not covered by the ban. Meanwhile, big companies are attempting to overturn the EU suspension.
“In some cases neonicotinoids are found to be up to 10,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT.”
Findings of this summer’s Worldwide Integrated Assessment on Systemic Pesticides
At Amma’s visit we were given some leaflets in French about a firm called Purin d’Ortie et Cie, who supply various products that stimulate and protect plants, such as nettle manure made with EM (effective microorganisms). “Nettles put into fermentation with 3% concentrated EM allow the development of a new product, especially recommended for impoverished lands, polluted and barren.” Their website is http://www.purindortie-bretagne.com/.
The Autumn 2014 National Trust Magazine gives details of ways in which their properties are starting to use less energy: with hydro electricity in Northumberland, wind turbines in Cumbria, electric Land Rovers in Snowdonia, biomass in Herefordshire, sea power at Plas Newydd (with the UK’s biggest marine-source heat pump) and a giant waterwheel (the largest in Europe) in Neath.
“‘It’s a wonderful vision that our estates, which used to be self-sufficient, with walled gardens and farms for food and mills for flour, will be generating energy in the same way again,’ says Rural Enterprises Director Patrick Hogg.”
“Some Trust members may question why the charity should bother itself about global warming. However, concern about the wider environment has always been at the heart of what the Trust does, and climate change is a threat to its work. Sixty per cent of the 742 miles of coastline it looks after is at risk as sea levels rise, and rising temperatures are affecting the species on its land.”
The Amrita Sphuranam project of Amrita Centre for Wireless Networks and Applications, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math will be providing solar-powered electrification for the entire rural village of Motakkara in Wayanad. Amrita Sphuranam was created as part of Amrita University’s Live-in-Labs Program and the Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s Amrita SeRVE initiative to make 101 villages in India totally self-reliant.
In 34 Unexpected Ways you can learn how to use coffee grounds in the garden to enhance plants, repel slugs and cats, grow mushrooms and many other uses – and even get the grounds for free!
27 Sep 2014, Amritapuri
Amritavarsham – Amma’s 61st Birthday Celebrations
The Amrita Center of Biotechnology introduced a Microbial Fuel Cell, which utilizes energy from bacterial growth in wastewater to generate electricity while simultaneously bringing about purification of the wastewater – an important step in addressing the sanitation and energy problems that are very relevant in India.
VS Sivakumar, Kerala Minister of Health unveiled the cell during Amma’s 61st Birthday celebrations.
from the Amritapuri site
See also Oregon State University
Thinks: what about recovering electricity from waste water as it flows down to the ground from a block of flats?
This was the slogan for Triodos Bank‘s annual general meeting in Bristol on September 13th. We heard inspiring talks from Charles Middleton, managing director, and the heads of personal and business banking; then Richard Holden on The True Cost of (Healthy) Food), James Leggett on The True Cost of Energy, and Camila Batmanghelidj on The True Cost of Poverty.
Some of the talks from previous Triodos meetings have been put online, and it is to be hoped that this year’s talks will be made available too.
“Spiders are essential for biodiversity and we are only starting to understand how they could help advance science and medicine”
“If spiders disappeared, we would face famine. All of our crops would be consumed by insects.”
See The Guardian