Hackney Permaculture

Recycling oil drums to make planters
June 12, 2009, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Doing | Tags: , , , ,

Loads of the turkish food places around me leave used oil drums out with the trash and I have taken quite the fancy to their bright colours and patterns and begun collecting them (I have seven different sorts so far!)

They make nice planters…

Tomatoes planted in recycled oil drum

Newly planted tomatoes in oil drum

So we now have quite the tomato patch in the front room…

Tomato plants in the front room

Tomatoes take over the front room!


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



Head Office
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

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