Hackney Permaculture

Breakfast with foraged grapes

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.


Seed saving beans
September 8, 2012, 11:43 am
Filed under: Collecting, Doing, Thinking

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.



london permaculture festival
July 29, 2010, 11:54 am
Filed under: Learning, Thinking

London Permaculture Festival coming up soon – I will be the one wandering around trying to find carrot cake – click on the flyer for more info – see you there then!

growing salad in polystyrene
June 7, 2010, 9:06 am
Filed under: Doing

my dad just sent me a few photos of his summer salads looking fairly happy growing in polystyrene packing bits… perhaps not my choice of container…

I prefer the big oil cans which all of the fast food places regularly throw up around here… but each to there own and the salad looks happy which is most important!

I get the tops off the oil cans using an old kitchen knife which needs a few bashes with a hammer to get it going and when it gets stuck

growing salad in oil cans or drums

More gardening with mum

Back in late march I helped my mum to set up a few raised beds; see post here. Last month I brought over a few cuttings, seedlings and other bits and bobs to which she has added to… the results are below:

Mum with her new raised beds

Mum with her new raised beds

Potatoes growing in an old plastic bag

Potatoes growing in an old plastic bag

Lara on salad guarding duty - keeps the pigeons and squirrels away

Lara on salad guarding duty - keeps the pigeons and squirrels away

Close up on raised bed - note the twigs and trellis at the back for the peas to grow up

Close up on raised bed - note the twigs and trellis at the back for the peas to grow up. From front left clockwise - nasturtium, orache, buckler leaf sorrel, peas, calendula, spinach, lettuce, rocket, carrots and ruby chard!

Tomatoes growing in pots

Tomatoes growing in pots

Beans in a basket growing up string into a tree

Beans in a basket growing up string into a tree

Farleigh Road street gardening
May 29, 2010, 6:45 pm
Filed under: Doing | Tags: , , , ,

Farleigh Road street gardening

Inspired by the ‘pimp my pavement‘ website I have recently been spending time with other residents making mini gardens on the street.

The sun did not shine and we had to flee inside shortly after due to a downpour but we now have two pretty little beds at the bases of the street trees on Farleigh Road.

They were made using lime branches pollarded from other street trees and planted up with flowers and beans which should climb up the tree cages. I propagated the beans myself and the flowers came from Columbia Road flower market.

Brox filled with flowers from Columbia Road flower market

Planting climbing beans on Farleigh Road

dad’s allotment and the three sisters
April 19, 2010, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Doing | Tags: , , , ,

I just learnt about the ‘three sisters’ companion planting last week so when my dad invited me over to have a peek at his little corner of an allotment I thought it would be good to give it a go…

One lesson learnt from the day is always carry a proper camera about with you – as you can see below the camera on my dad’s phone is AWEFUL!

…anyway – the three sisters is a trinity of plants which all assist each other to grow… sweetcorn grows tall, beans climb the sweetcorn stalks and squash provides ground cover surpressing weeds and generally being green. I would write more but wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive bit of info here, and there is more info here although it all sounds far more technical and scary than I am really into.

One thing which I learnt from my friend Hedvig from Get Growing is that you need to plant the sweetcorn bunched together in a group rather than in a single line – they need to pollinate each other, which won’t work so well in a single line.

I did not build a mound which seems to be recommended in quite a few places so watch this space to see if it works :-)