Welcome to the Permaculture Association Blog

You can find a wealth of news and knowledge that follows the work of members and partners.

A festival is a funny thing. A celebration, an escape, an alternative, a way of life. Many things rolled up into a musically charged programme of fun, frolics and serious chats. Often in a field. 

 
What struck me about the Green Gathering was its commitment. Appropriately billed as a 'gathering', and free from the dictates of advertising, the Green Gathering felt like a genuine attempt at saying, "Oi! Another world is possible and look-y right here!".

I grew up in the country and have fond memories of childhood days running free with my Gran on her smallholding and on the small farm where we lived. My nuclear family was displaced from the rural life by a compulsory purchase order in the 1970s and we found ourselves plunged into city living. Looking back, I seem to have spent much of my adult life trying to work a way back to where I started out!

Here at Dyfed Permaculture Farm Trust, as in any garden or small holding, some areas need to have higher fertility then others e.g. to enable growing of hungrier crops. One way we achieve this is to move fertility from areas were it is not needed (paths, tracks) or even actively not wanted (wild flower hay meadows) to those were it is more useful (annual veg beds, forest gardens)

The scythe allows us to collect mulch material from many areas and use it to improve soil and fertility in the gardens. There are many types of mulch that we collect, each useful in different ways. Lawn clippings and clippings from frequently cut paths are fine and generally weed free as the grasses do not get to seed before cutting. They make a good mulch around small, newly established plants such as these parsnips.

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." So said John Ruskin. Although I've always suspected that Ruskin made this observation from the comfort of a warm, dry drawing room, the idea does square nicely with permaculture ideas. And on the day of the Derbyshire Ecocentre’s Summer Fair, the weather was, well... different.

Permaculture means many things to many people. This is part of the genius of a systems approach to life rooted in an ethical framework that encompasses many ideas and skills not unique to it. As a design system what Permaculture brings, in Patrick Whitefield’s words, “[is] the element of design, a way of putting components together for their maximum benefit.”