Hackney Permaculture


selling unwanted cds using music magpie
August 30, 2009, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Doing, Recycling | Tags: ,
Selling second hand cds using music magpie

Selling second hand cds using music magpie

I curiously manage to be a hoarder who aspires to have few posessions. Every so often my ruthless streak overcomes my hoarding streak and I eBay, freecycle or put things out on the street to get rid of them.

Music magpie (http://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/) is a service for online buying of second hand cds and I have to say I am pretty impressed by their service. You type in the bar code, they make you an offer for your cds, then they send you postage stickers which you use to post them the cds using recycled jiffy bags which you have been hoarding too. Brilliant.

…and yes I did sell my Burt Bacharach cd… £36 for 27 cds was the final count – that is quite a bit of carrot cake.

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Making reed beds for grey water recycling

One of the projects that really stuck in my head after reading my first book on permaculture was creating reed beds for recycling grey water (any waste water from the house except sewage from the toilet).

After a good deal of time spent researching and reading around the topic the time finally came to make it a reality. Luckily there is a builders depo at the end of my street who sell gravel and my friend Morgan was on hand to help me put it all together.

For an average household you need 1m² of reed bed to recycle each persons grey water and you need four reeds per square metre. As I already had two used bath tubs to hand which came to just over 2m² and the three of us who live at 33b don’t use that much water I decided to go with that even if it was a little below the recommended area.

Ten reed plants were bought from Reeds from Seeds who can be found here – http://www.brynpolyn.co.uk/ – The total costwas £27.60 most of which was the delivery cost to London from Wales. They were very helpful people indeed explaining that late April or early May were the best time to plant.

A depth of about a metre seems to be the order of the day from a couple of diagrams I saw. The bath tubs took a maximum of about 80cm so I went with that, filling them with a layer of fine gravel on top of a layer of coarse gravel, about 50/50 of each.

It was decided after some debate to run the water into the bottom of each bath tub with water exiting out of the top. This way it has to pass up through the whole reed bed and cannot flow straight through as some designs seem to indicate. Pipes were fixed in the bottom with bricks and slate to keep them from being crushed by the weight of the gravel and to stop them from coming out. You can see that the first ‘metal tub’ reed bed is above the height of the other ‘mighty white’ tub so the water passes from the house into the bottom of the upper tub, rising through the bed to a pipe which feeds it into the bottom of the lower tub before it overflows through the bath’s original overflow into either the pond or the adjacent bed.

The metal tub was lined with a plastic sheet as it had many holes in the bottom from a previous life as a planter. Making the right sized hole for the pipe fixture was a challenge finally managed with a drill, some elbow grease and a bit of love, hence the three photos!

A lot of designs have settlement tanks and other features. I decided not to go for these yet but allowed space further back upstream to retro fit a settlement tank if needed. Whilst the reeds establish themselves I only plan to put bath and shower water into them and to use only natural grooming and cleaning products in the bathroom so there shouldn’t be anything too nasty for them to have to deal with and not too much by way of solid matter as the plug hole catches all the hairs!

Here are a few other pages of interest –

http://web.onetel.net.uk/~johndecarteret/water%20treatment.htm

http://www.green-water.org/projects.html

Gravel and a sunk bath tub

Gravel and a sunk bath tub

Morgan planting reeds into the gravel-filled bath tub

Morgan planting reeds into the gravel-filled bath tub

Plastic fitting detail shot

Plastic fitting detail shot

Plastic fitting detail shot

Plastic fitting detail shot

Plastic fitting detail shot

Plastic fitting detail shot

Lining the metal tub

Lining the metal tub

Two tier reed beds for recycling grey water

Two tier reed beds for recycling grey water



Recycled Hessian Sacks

hessian sacks

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

Cheers

Brian

Head Office
FOREST RECYCLING PROJECT LTD
2C Bakers Avenue, Walthamstow, E17 9AW
Company No: 2427258
VAT No: 548917400
Tel; 020 8539 3856
E-Mail: info@frponline.org.uk
Web Site: www.frponline.org.uk



Fighting the good fight (slugs and snails)

Okay so we had to lose our virginity at some point. You create a nice bed, you plant stuff, it grows, then slugs and snails come and eat it…

One of the first things planted out were some beans which got utterly munched within days. It was clear that some extra thought was required and non-lethal reinforcements came in the shape of cloches made from plastic drinks bottles, broken up egg shells, copper from wire and coins, and midnight slug and snail raids with my brand new head torch!

Not wanting to kill any of god’s creatures, I have just been throwing them over the fence so far which seems to have worked, making a huge dent in the local population and seems to keep everyone happy as next door don’t really do much with their garden and there is lots of nice green stuff growing there.

Our veg is safe for now…

Anti slug defences

Anti slug defences

Anti slug defences (Part 2)

Anti slug defences (Part 2)

Cloches made from used drinks bottles to protect from snails and slugs

Cloches made from used drinks bottles to protect from snails and slugs

Cloches and netting to protect young plants

Cloches and netting to protect young plants



Freecycling packing materials
September 26, 2008, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Recycling | Tags: , , , ,

I am in the process of insulating my loft which has forced me to face up to all of the packing materials I have been hoarding and admit that now might be a good time to get rid of some of them.

Luckily with the help of hackney freecycle, an amazing bulletin board for giving away stuff in your local area, the four bags of bubble wrap I have accumulated and the stash of used jiffy bags went pretty quickly.

Freecycling bubble wrap and jiffy bags

Freecycling bubble wrap and jiffy bags