Filed under: Collecting, Doing | Tags: church street, foraging, fruit, grapes, hackney, local, local food, organic, seasonal, seasonal food, soft fruit, stoke newington
It is that time of the year where I cycle about dumbfounded at the amount of organic seasonal locally produced food going to waste.
If you live in Hackney get your arse down to Sandbrook Road, N16 (just off Church Street). At the north end there is a wall dripping with grapes which I have never seen anyone else harvest. The photo below is from Googlemaps… imagine that whole wall overflowing with the good stuff.
It looks like it got pretty cold last night and some of my bean pods lost all their colour almost cracking open in places.
I decided it was a good morning for a spot of seed saving.
Filed under: Collecting | Tags: compost, free, hackney, hackney marshes, homerton, marshes, recycled food, wood chip
Okay, East London Community Recycling Partnership are gods – officially.
A few weeks back I helped Stepping Stones Farm in Stepney pick up a few tonnes of free compost from a depot on the south edge of hackney marshes – they have wood chip too, a LOT of woodchip… and a LOT of compost… did I mention that yet? LOADS OF IT.
The picture above gives you an idea of a small part of the depot which is officially open during the day on week days… but you could easily pop in at other times as much of it is not really fenced off.
Address is Hackney Parks Depot, E5 9PF- you can see it on via the map below – it is just at the top of the car park
A few days after I went and picked up the compost they called me up and asked me if I could take a few tonnes more… seriously get your arse down there and get growing!
There website mentions nothing about this – go figure – http://www.elcrp-recycling.com/
If you also need leaf mould try here – http://hackneypermaculture.org.uk/2008/09/22/free-compost-from-hackney-downs-park/
Filed under: Collecting, Doing | Tags: apples, farleigh road, hackney, london, orchard, scrumping, st jude street
Not exactly rocket science but picking apples in London does seem to be a fringe activity. So many trees dripping with fruit, most of which ends up getting swept up by the street cleaners. Not this year :-)
Buying a telescopic fruit picker was the first action – I got mine second hand from ebay, here is a new one that is similiar – http://garden4less.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=RGM
Now off to these two trees on St Jude Street -
We had so many apples from our scrump that I set up shop on my street and started giving them away to neighbours which then resulted in my being invited into various back gardens to pick more!
Time to make some chutney now i guess :-)
I am now the proud owner of this rather splendid recumbent quadcycle called a ‘Brox’ which I bought from Bikefix (http://www.bikefix.co.uk/). Unfortunately they are not in production anymore so you will have to search about if you want one. It has been absolutely amazing for transporting tools and plants around hackney.
Today I managed to attach the wheelbarrow to the back to make it a pentacycle! Happy days.
If you are interested in finding out about other workbikes have a peek at this amazing blog – http://onelessvan.blogspot.com/
Filed under: Collecting, Doing | Tags: climbing, device, fruit, fruit picking, harvest, picker, plum, scrumping, telescopic, tool, tree, wolf garden, wolf garten
I was never quite sure how we were going to get all of the plums harvested from the top of such a huge tree and then someone suggested I buy a special tool to do the job which I must confess hadn’t occurred to me!
A quick bit of googling and eBaying later and… ta da… one ten foot extendible fruit picking gadget. Happy days…
The one I bought was second hand on eBay but if I was going to buy new the one that caught my eye was the multi-use fruit picker made by Wolf Garden – http://www.wolf-garten.co.uk
The rest, as they say, is plum jam, plum pickle and assorted other forms of plum joy history.
Filed under: Collecting, Learning | Tags: ladybird, larva, larvae, photo, picture
Just in case you are as clueless as me – here is a picture of a ladybird larva hanging out in the sun in the back garden. They are our friends - eating aphids and generally looking kinda badass.
Filed under: Collecting | Tags: 2012, capital growth, farleigh road, fruit, garden, grant, hackney, mayor of london, new growing space, stoke newington, veg
A little while ago we filled in a form applying for a capital growth grant.
Capital Growth is a scheme to support the start up of 2012 new growing spaces in London by 2012, something to do with the major and some of those politicians no doubt.
After a few phone chats and a visit from the delightful Eloise, a lovely pack containing various goodies and a cheque arrived… and I didn’t even hear or need to use the word ‘legacy’ once.
I love that they just put ‘farleigh road’ on the certificate… I kinda feel obliged to garden the whole street now!
Filed under: Collecting, Recycling | Tags: forest recycling project, hackney, hessian, hessian sacks, london, recycled, sacks, walthamstow
A few weeks ago I got forwarded the lovely email below from a chap called Brian and in need of hessian sacks for the filtering bit of my grey-water recycling beds, I decided to invest.
I went for five bags of wood chip and five bags of compost, all delivered to my door for the bargain price of £27.50 – nice.
Subject: hessian sacks and compost
Forest Recycling Project has a supply of hessian sacks which can be used for all sorts of things in the garden and beyond (see above video clip for inspiration) they are 50p each with discounts for bulk orders (delivery may be possible for an extra charge). We are also able to supply the sacks half filled (about 75 litres) with soil improver compost from green waste (£2.50) or wood chip (£1.00). Please contact me to place an order or for more info. Feel free to forward on to anyone who may be interested
FOREST RECYCLING PROJECT LTD
2C Bakers Avenue, Walthamstow, E17 9AW
Company No: 2427258
VAT No: 548917400
Tel; 020 8539 3856
Web Site: www.frponline.org.uk
Filed under: Collecting, Doing | Tags: butyl, cardboard, elder, liner, old carpet, pond
Dig a great big hole, over 70cm deep so things will survive the winter, leave shallow bits around some edges for plants and creatures to hang out in.
Find some smelly carpet and cardboard from the street for lining and wack on top a huge sheet of butyl bought from Aquatics Warehouse.
Add soil and then fill with tap water. Add some pond water from a friends pond. Be patient and trust mother nature will do the rest:
You will also notice the lovely new stepping stone path which was made from marrying my sledgehammer with the previous concrete monstrousity, the bath tub in it’s new home and the beds which I have marked out using the boughs of some elder which have been recently felled to clear the canopy.
Filed under: Collecting, Doing | Tags: bath tub, crates, old shower curtain, packing crates, shower curtain
A friend of mine who imports pottery was about to skip some used packing crates …and did I want them! Of course….
After wrestling with myself a little, deciding whether to varnish or paint them, I have left them natural but lined them with an old shower curtain I picked up from Hackney Freecycle to try to prevent too much moisture from coming into contact with the wood.
The space outside my studio is fairly shaded so I have popped a couple of raspberry canes in each along with various bulb and flowers that were in the lovely old bathtub that used to hold them and I have now emptied of soil and been allowed to take from my outside studio back home to form part of the grey-water recycling system – thank you Laura, the Landlady.
Filed under: Collecting
Happy days – santa brought me a nice shiny new spade, fork and rake (which I have already broke!)
Filed under: Collecting, Doing | Tags: clearing, compost, dead bed, hackney downs, junk, mulch, mulching, pond, rainbow chard, sheet mulching, strawberries
After mulching we split into two groups – Claudia and Parastow broke up some strawberry plants, which had been rescued from somewhere else, into smaller pots so they will survive the winter with some water and love.
Next they planted some rainbow chard which was already looking fairly tasty as it had started life in the same place as the strawberries.
Meanwhile Laura and I began to clear out the bed at the rear of the garden which revelead a dead bed frame, a kids trike and scooter, three barbeques, a couple of dead chairs and numerous other bits of junk.
We also spent an age filling up the pond but it was empty again this morning so we obviously need to do a better job of blocking the plug hole!
Filed under: Collecting | Tags: brown bags, free compost, garden waste, hackney council, hackney downs
Happy days – I cycled by the park ranger’s hut today and he was in – I thought the hut was just for show!
He was more than happy to give me permission to raid the huge pile of compost in the north east corner of the park which is conviently five mins ride from my front door…
My friend Simon kindly agreed to help me out getting the compost back to mine.
The brown bags are free from Hackney Council for garden waste but are very useful for moving around stuff too as I have found more than once already.
We collected ten bags in fourty minutes then had to stop due to exhaustion – this is proving to be quite a workout for me!
I also managed to get a huge stash of garden cuttings from across the road this morning – I reckon with this load of compost, a pile of cardboard boxes and the neighbours cuttings I have all I need to start mulching.