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.



Free compost in Hackney
September 9, 2009, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Collecting | Tags: , , , , , , ,
free compost in hackney marshes

free compost in hackney marshes

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 – https://hackneypermaculture.org.uk/2008/09/22/free-compost-from-hackney-downs-park/

August 23, 2009, 10:37 am
Filed under: Collecting, Doing | Tags: , , , , , ,

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 :-)

Welcome the Brox
August 10, 2009, 8:29 am
Filed under: Collecting | Tags: , ,
brox recumbent quadcycle

The Brox

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/

plum harvesting time
Robin picking plums using telescopic fruit harvesting device

Robin picking plums using telescopic fruit harvesting device

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.

The plum picking team

The picking team with over 10kg of plums... we only stopped when it got dark!

Ladybird larvae or larva
June 12, 2009, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Collecting, Learning | Tags: , , , ,

ladybird larva larvae

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.