Hackney Permaculture


Pruning and training the grapevine
June 18, 2009, 8:08 am
Filed under: Doing, Learning, Planning, Thinking | Tags: , , , , ,

When we first cleared back some of the undergrowth in the back garden we discovered an old grapevine stump that looked like it was dead. To our delight it started to sprout a tonne of leaves a few months back so todays job was to start training it up a trellis into a fan.

There is some good advice here – http://www.realenglishfruit.co.uk/content/treetraining.htm

Grapevine at the start of day

Grapevine at the start of day

Grapevine after haircut - we cut it back to just two leaders

Grapevine after haircut - we cut it back to just two leaders

Grapevine with leaders tied to trellis

Grapevine with leaders tied to trellis ready to grow into a fan

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Smoke-free wood stove
February 21, 2009, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Learning, Thinking | Tags: , , , , , , ,

A quick jaunt up north to Enfield on the train from Hackney Downs and we are in Gunpowder Park at The Energy Cafe for a workshop on pedal power. Andrew was also about and demonstrating his smoke-free wood stove which impressed me muchly.

Hooking up a fan to feed the flames more air increases the efficiency of the combustion and decreases the amount of smoke, which is essentially unburnt hydrocarbons or very small bits of wood to you and me.

Andrew demonstrates his design for a smoke-free wood stove

Andrew demonstrates his design for a smoke-free wood stove

All of the stove had been made from reused parts found in local skips. The main body was an old flue buried into a tyre filled with soil, the fan was from an old laptop. As the flue was already double walled it provided excellent insulation so the wood could burn at a higher temperature. The fan created a vortex in the main chamber which meant better mixing of air again leading to a higher burn temperature resulting in no smoke at all and 5kW of heat apparently!

A top view of the smoke-free wood stove showing the fan induced vortex

A top view of the smoke-free wood stove showing the fan induced vortex