Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Abbey is mostly living out in the field now, she comes in overnight once or twice a week to get dried off, cleaned up and have her legs greased up.. waterproofing... the weather is constantly dull and wet and the fields are sodden.
Monday, December 21, 2015
life without a camera is quite frustrating. funds are constantly being used for other things so a camera will have to wait. and I don't see the point in buying a cheap one 'for now' because I know it will irritate me... there is ''somewhere'' in amongst my packed and stored ''stuff''.. a Fuji.. I can't find it, but it would make a decent for now camera till things improve.
I'll keep looking.
Monday, October 19, 2015
link to the article with Millrace Garden Centre
here is a small excerpt ... my bit... lol
here is a small excerpt ... my bit... lol
Claire Gillies - Claire's GardenClaire Gillies had a good garden education, from the edibles from an experienced organic market gardener who she had a Saturday job with, to the flowers from an avid plant collector that she would weed and help with her garden - and who's 'old plants' made the backbone of Claire's garden. Claire was lucky to meet and work with them. She remains forever enthusiastic by having a 'plant it and see what happens' attitude. If it doesn't grow she tries again, or tries something different.
- What is the most effective way you've found to deal with garden pests?
- Do you use fertiliser in your garden and if so, which type?
- Which plant in your garden do you hold the most love for and why?
- Butterflies: Beautiful garden visitor or troublesome pest?
Saturday, October 10, 2015
today we rode through the section of path through the trees outlined in red... about 50-100 yards long... first time along it... ridden.. without ever having being led by me or another horse... whoohooo!! Abbey is awesome. bless her little scared socks...
Monday, September 14, 2015
The big allotment scam: How the system is stopping you from getting a plot
Enormous waiting lists, pigeon lofts and 'dead man's shoes'
Waiting lists of around six years are stopping British families from going green and taking allotments on which to grow their own produce.
That's the opinion of an environmentally-conscious green fingered waste management company which says that many council- and committee-run allotment spaces are literally a case of "dead man's shoes", where the same people hold a plot for years and decades at a time.
On top of that, councils that are hard-pushed for budgets are tempted to sell off land for development, meaning there's ever decreasing space, the BigGreen.co.uk company says.
"Just at a time and more and more people are looking to grow their own produce, they're finding that the door has been slammed in their face," says Big Green spokesperson Mark Hall. "So many people have small gardens or no garden at all, meaning an allotment is the only real chance they have."
BigGreen.co.uk spoke to councils across the UK to find out how long the waiting lists were for an allotment. The authorities who released figures led Big Green to find that:
- The average waiting list for an allotment with six years
- A significant number of councils had waiting lists as high as 250 people, with waits of around nine years
- While the press made a big issue of 45-year waiting lists in 2009, there was no trace of any such figures now
- The longest wait one (unnamed) council was prepared to admit was for 12 years
"The major problem is the lack of allotments for the folk who want to work them," says BigGreen.co.uk 's Mark Hall.
His solution is simple: "The average 10 pole (about 250 square metre) allotment is a lot of work for the average family. Split them in two, and double the number of available plots," he says. "Perhaps split them into three or four to give families a taste of growing produce, but on a big enough plot to bring decent results."
People are clearly getting impatient at the long waiting lists, and seem to think that the system is broken or skewed against new blood. BigGreen.co.uk spoke to some people on council waiting lists across the UK and heard:
- "Three years we've been waiting. But you look over the fence and they've got empty plots. What's that about?"
- "We were told we were right at the top of the list, and then they sold the whole field off to a developer. Disgraceful. We're still at the top of the list, but the other site's miles away."
- "We desperately want to grow our own veg but we live in flats, but there's some selfish bloke who has six plots – one's got a pigeon loft and an old car! He can give one up for us, surely?"
- "It's an old boys' club isn't it? We don't fit in, so we don't get a plot"
Those are damning words, BigGreen.co.uk says which lead on to other arguments: "There also needs to be a national debate about preserving allotment land," Hall says. "It's important green space, but all too easy for councils to earmark for development. Once that land's gone, it's gone. And that money only fills a budget hole for a single year."
One of the biggest problems that people on waiting lists find is people who occupy multiple allotments, or pay for a plot but don't use it as intended (or even at all).
"There's nothing worse than going down your local allotment site to find whole plots of land that have clearly not been cultivated for some time. The council direct debit is collected every year, so they seemingly don't care if it's left fallow," says Mark Hall. "We also know of plots which are nothing but pigeons, goats and chickens, and some who cultivate flowers and 'organic' crops sell at a profit. That's not what allotment ownership should be about."
Councils should also be stricter about multiple-occupiers who have a number of plots as well as commercial operations, denying other local people the chance to cultivate some land: "It's clear that many local authorities need to urgently reform their allotment provision. It's easy for users to abuse the system, when keen people are left kicking their heels, waiting for their turn," Hall says.
Unfortunately, such is the way the system works, new tenants have to wait for the previous person to actually die before they can take over a plot. There must be a better way of dividing up land and introducing new blood, BigGreen.co.uk says – "Dead Man's Shoes" just isn't good enough.
BigGreen.co.uk says they recently heard of a council debating whether to increase the annual fee from £5 to £6 per year, and failing to come to a decision. And that's just goes to show how badly allotments are being handled by authorities.
"We'd pay ten times that much," says Mark, "If only we could get to the front of the queue!"
BigGreen.co.uk is a leading expert in recycling and waste disposal for businesses of all kinds.
We manage waste and recycling collections for companies in and around major towns at the best possible prices with an emphasis on sustainable solutions.
Our company is committed to reducing wasteful landfill, and works to help companies increase their recycling targets.
BigGreen.co.uk campaigns for tighter laws to discourage littering, wasteful behaviour, and to encourage greater recycling. We're the waste company that hates waste.