Category Archives: What’s on

Apple Pressing 2017

Sunday 15 October     [10am to 4pm]

For the third year in a row we are hiring an apple press from Ashurst and Colbury Community Group.

Come along from 10am with your apples to press. Or just come along and join in! We pause at about 1230 for a bring and share lunch.

First we cut the apples in quarters. Then they go into the scratter. Then into the press. Then we have amazing fresh apple juice to enjoy. Everyone brings bottles to take some home in – last year everyone went home with at least a 4-pint milk carton of apple juice – most with more!!

The juice needs to be enjoyed in a few days – it starts to ferment quite quickly. Or you can freeze it for a few months. Or you can bottle it and heat it to 75 degrees C for 25 mins  – then it will last in the bottle for about a year.

There are many apple trees around the city that don’t get used – if you don’t have your own tree, perhaps you could go and pick some apples and bring them along! For hints about this, see the website of Southampton’s Urbane Forager.

Hope to see you there!

NOTE – this is a free event for everyone in the community, but if on the day you can make a contribution to our costs, we would appreciate it. We have to collect, clean and return the equipment and we donate £10 to Ashurst and Colbury Community Group for the loan of the equipment.

Kefir – Prebiotic | Probiotic | Postbiotic – what and why?

Do you know your prebiotic from your probiotic and your postbiotic?

[CLUE: it is something to do with the good bacteria that live in our intestines and are vital for healthy digestion]

One of our volunteers (Mark – pictured below) has been making his own probiotic for a while now – he makes kefir from kefir grains. He is going to lead a course to further our understanding of this and show how to make kefir from kefir grains.

Volunteer Mark puts finishing touches to washing up station

This is Mark who will lead the course, on the day he helped make our kitchen sink!

Mark will run the course from 1100 to 1230 on Saturday 30 September. After the course we invite you to stay and join our regular Saturday bring-and-share lunch.

There is no charge for the course, but we would appreciate what you can afford as a suitable donation to support the work of the farm.

To book a place, please fill out the form below:

Permaculture Southampton 2017-09-16

3. Obtain a yield.

[Please book in further down the page]

Last time we looked at catching and storing energy to rebuild nature’s capital. This month we are looking at the more immediate issue of designing our systems to give us a reward in the short term.

Put simply, it’s no good planting a food forest for our grandchildren but in the mean time not having enough to eat ourselves!

We will look at what kind of yields are important, and how we obtain a yield without betraying our ethical principles or the second principle to catch and store energy.

  • [optional] 1000 Volunteering: Come and do some work on the farm to immerse yourself in what we have been learning about permaculture.
  • [optional] 1230 Bring-and-share lunch
  • 1330-1700 Obtain a yield: We are working through the 12 principles of permaculture as defined by David Holmgren. The hosts will introduce the topic and help us as a group consider how the principle applies to us here in Southampton.

Please book in here:

Permaculture Southampton 2017-06-17

2. Collect and Store Energy
This is the second principle of permaculture. We thought about this on 17 June 2017.

We live in a culture where energy is consumed in all sorts of forms and often without a thought to where it comes from and where it goes, or what effect we are having on future generations.

As we delved into what we mean by energy – what it does for us. We went beyond the physics of the fuels and energy sources that underpin our lifestyles to also consider the energy that is needed to get things done in a wide range of contexts. We looked at issues of wealth and waste.

We considered where energy is wasted and could instead be stored in all areas of our lives.

Here are some outputs from our time:

Links

Previous Meeting – where we looked at the first principle: Observe and Interact
Permaculture Southampton – the home page for our meetings.

Permaculture Southampton 2017-05-20

1. Observe and Interact
This is the first principle of permaculture. It is the foundation of design.

These are some notes (taken by Leesa).

We have a rough recording of the main session, which you can download here or play here:

Observation is collecting information, usually directly. Our culture is filled with opportunities to let others collect information for us – indeed others may now apparently report to us “alternative facts”.

Interaction in this context means to make some kind of change to what we are observing in order to influence it towards the outcome that we want. This process is at the heart of gardening, but can be applied in any context.

Design thinking guidelines

  • all observations are relative
  • top-down thinking, bottom-up action
  • the landscape is the text book
  • failure is useful if we learn
  • elegant solutions are best – simple or invisible
  • make the smallest intervention necessary
  • avoid too much of a good thing
  • the problem is the solution
  • recognise and break out of design cul-de-sacs

What next?

This is an idea for digging into this principle.

  1. Choose a topic to focus on – something you are interested, a problem or a new thing to do
  2. Summarize your observations about it
    1. what patterns do you recognise?
    2. what details can you appreciate?
    3. where are the boundaries of this system?
    4. what other systems influence it?
  3. Let the design thinking guidelines help you analyse what has already been done and suggest actions for the future.

Links

Previous Meeting – where we looked at the ethical principles of permaculture.
Permaculture Southampton – the home page for our meetings.

Open Days

Our open days are designed to introduce local people to the farm and make an enjoyable time for all. We choose to do them on bank holiday Mondays so that can have a good day out in the country without having to go too far!

We open the gates at 10am and provide special activities for all the family. We recommend bringing a picnic (although sometimes we are able to to provide a lunch) and allowing yourself plenty of time to wander around, exploring and enjoying.

  • Monday 17 April – Easter Hunt and Picnic
  • Monday 29 May – Grow Your Own –
    • this open day will be with only minimal extra activities as we are short staffed.  There will be shop, plant sale and refreshments with a few simple playthings put out for you.
  • Monday 28 August – Harvest and Preserve
  • Sunday 15 October – Apple Juicing

Permaculture Southampton 2017-04-08

Saturday 8th April – the first meeting of Permaculture Southampton.

About 25 people attended.

We spent some time sharing our personal contexts for permaculture and then considered the 3 permaculture ethical principles.

Ethical principles

Permaculture has foundation of values expressed in these ethical principles. The principles guide us towards good and right outcomes and away from bad and wrong outcomes.

  • Care for the earth – rebuild nature’s capital
  • Care for people – self, kin and community
  • Fair share – set limits; redistribute surplus

Our natural inclination is act in our own interest. These principles help us remember that we are part of something bigger, something more long-term that our immediate self-interest.

These principles acknowledge the ecological reality of our needs – we depend on the earth for our very survival. Yet in our culture we are generally disconnected from the living earth.

These principles are unashamedly human-centred and do not neglect our personal responsibility. Yet as I take care of myself I am actually reducing my dependence on a global economy, which is a good thing. I am growing up through self-reliance.

These principles tackle both abundance and scarcity. If you apply permaculture principles you will learn the word abundance and will create a surplus of resources! We have it is an ethical principle to redistribute that surplus. We also acknowledge the ecological reality or our existence and set limits to our consumption of resources. This is quite counter-cultural!!

Feedback and Comments

If you would like to add your feedback from the session, please feel free to contact us with it.

* Just wanted to share with you how much I enjoyed meeting you all today, how much it means to me to find like-minded individuals in the city where I live. Sometimes it seems everyone is all (kept) so busy it’s impossible to make that level of contact these days. So, thank you for the opportunity, and it was great to reflect about what we it means to us and what we would like to achieve.

* Thank you for setting up the project, it will be interesting to see how it develops. I’m with the person who said they’d like to see practical examples of the principles in action. Possibly each of us could take on one aspect on our sites but the farm is the obvious candidate as we will continue to congregate there over the next 12 months. A great deal to think on but how about 10-1 working on the land and then 1.30- 3.30 on the theoretical side?

* Thanks for a most enjoyable session at the farm on Saturday. The session provided exactly what I needed: relaxed atmosphere in delightful surroundings; getting to know a range of people who all seemed to share similar values – wonderful; a slow pace of introduction – listening carefully to everyone; a small group activity which got me closer to three other people and helped us share deeper insights; a plan of action – using the chapters in the book as a focus each month; a close up look at the ethical underpinning of permaculture – I’ve already used those in a discussion during lunch on the Walk the Waterfront walk on Sunday! For me, the session was sufficient entirely and of itself and very good for me. For the people who hadn’t been to the farm before, I picked up some curiosity about wanting to know more about what you’re doing there. Very much looking forward to the next session.

Volunteering

Our volunteering days are Fridays and Saturdays.

We start at 1000 and run until 1700. You can join for all or part of the session.

We have a cuppa mid-morning, a “bring and share” lunch at 1230ish and another break in the afternoon.

We send everyone home and lock up at 1700.

Please contact us for more information.

Shop open

tomatoes and squashOur shop is open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, from 9am to 4.30pm.

We don’t have a huge stock during the spring, but it’s always worth a visit to come and look round the farm to see what is beginning to grow. You can also feed the chickens and look for fish in our ponds.

Summer 2016 was our first real season selling our produce. We sold loads of french beans, runner beans, lettuces and beetroot over the summer. All we have for now is eggs, spinach, and our range of jams and chutneys. This year we will produce much more fresh veg: onions, garlic, radish, beetroot, lettuce, mixed salad leaves, mange toute, tomato, carrots, chard, spinach, cucumber, french beans, kale, runner beans, squash, herbs, We hope to have some currants, apples and pears too.

We sell duck and chicken eggs. There may be goose eggs later in March – they only lay in the spring

Goose eggs with chicken eggs

Goose eggs are big!

The eggs are 100% organic – the ducks and chickens free range around our meadows and the feed we supplement them with is organic. These organic layers pellets are quite expensive and it means that our eggs are 35p for chickens (£2.10 for 6) and 45p for ducks (£2.70 for 6).