First bit…

Of proper kit.

Introducing spud the sprayer, our first bit of proper kit.


Some assembly required but with so many pathways to keep clear it makes sense to have some kind of sprayer on hand. And as we will be using vinegar as a weed killer we can still use spud for applying folia feed and natural herbicides and pesticides.

kit-1 kit-4

After giving him a good wash out first of course.


Composting, installing update 7 of 4079….

The old composting set up was a bit basic to say the least. Composting well is both skill, alchemy, magic and bewitchment in equal measure. And we don’t just want to compost.


Oh no.

We have bigger plans than that.

We want to introduce a dangerous, vicious predator into the mix. A wild untamable beast that does nothing but hunt, eat and hunt. A mindless killing machine of unstoppable power and unerring will that can never be stopped.

A veritable soil shark.

Behold. The worm.


We are going seriously upscale with our wormery. No piddley little tubs by the back door. No bath tubs with flexible pipe drainage. We are going big.

2 meters cube big. Which means the old bins have to go. And so I’ve at least got half way there in digging out one bin to make way for the experimental bins. And if they work we’ll go ahead and build a more permanent setup in which to house the vermicomposters.


Vermicomposting, the technical and dryly boring name for getting worms to eat stuff and pass it out the other end gives us a lot of usable outputs for the site for very little input on our end. We chuck in whatever garden waste we have (if it swam, flew or walked it doesn’t go in, is a good rule of thumb) and the little bugs and critters break it down and eventually the worms come along and hoover up all the nastier bits and poop them out. We don’t even have to do too much to make them happy. They tend to stay right in their goldilocks zone.

And so we get a mineral and nutrient rich soil from their castings, the liquid run off is also excellent as a liquid fertilizer and the worms themselves can be sold on as packages to people wanting their own little ecosystem and even, as I hold back a tear, to local fishermen.

But I don’t like to think about that…

Behold, for we have Strawberries

A lot of the crops we will be planting are perennial fruiting bushes and the like, and we have lots of stock hidden all over Doncaster, ready for the day we took over this site and when the onset of winter sends them to sleep.

One of those sites is a strawberry bed in my backyard vegetable patch.

And it has kind of gotten out of control. To be honest it’s more of a lawn these day. With runners twisting, seething and clambering over each other to reach the soil. And seeing as I need the space and the site needs the strawberries its time to harvest and transplant the little suckers.

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I managed to get a mixed bag of two year old plants and this year’s runners down to the farm, and this shot shows the rootlets just starting to reach for the soil.


It’s amazing to me how diverse nature can be when deciding how to produce offspring. Who would have thought the humble strawberry plant could clone itself??? Simply by touching the ground…

Under pressure!

After the gathering comes the pressure!

On Saturday the 1st of October we will be converting all those scrumdiddly umcious apples into a variety of pleasing drinks. Maybe an adult beverage or three.

This Saturday we will build a fruit press or two, sort through the good the bad and the beautiful and get pressing that apple juice.

We will also cover the cider making process, give some hints and tips on really basic, simple but effective brewing vessels to get you started without forking out a load of cash, how to preserve unfermented fruit juices and generally get soaked whilst laughing at each other.

A lot!

click or tap the link for more details

The cost is £10 to cover running costs, hardware, our usual run to the chippy and the ever present need to put cash in the coffer to pay the bills.



Let there be light!!

Four week in and we have now done a detailed survey of the site and its buildings and identified what we need.

As in the best of traditions the problem is the solution and we need above all heat and electricity for the structures (I’m already tired of typing greenhouse and polytunnel!!) and electricity in general.

We always intended to make this site as off grid as possible, just to show it can be done and, well, we’re frugal Yorkshire folk and don’t like paying other people to do stuff we should be doing our selves.

So to that end we will be offering (at incredible cheap prices to mainly cover costs) a plethora of courses and lectures on just that. Living independently.

Where you get the chance to get hands on dirty practical experience of saving money.

Here’s a taster of what we have planned…

Cider, apple juice and free orchard growing.

Off grid electricity, design, building and maintaining battery banks for those pesky power cuts.

Hyper efficient wood burning stoves called Rocket stove and adapting them for different uses.

Food preservation and storage, buy cheap to eat later. No freezer required.

Solar energy for home heating. From the stuff others throw away.

Beer and wine making.

Basic carpentry skills and general DIY Hacks.

So keep an eye on the events calendar for what’s coming up.

And remember, everything we do, adds value to you

The Gathering

With very Short notice we At Bentley Urban farm invite you to our first annual Gathering!!

This is the weekend Saturday the 24th of September we will be driving, walking, riding and generally meandering around Bentley and the Doncaster area as a whole identifying, adopting, learning about the apple trees we find and gathering all the apples we can. We will also be giving a variety of talks along the way about various methods of caring for those trees we adopt and what we can all do to preserve them.

We will be charging £10 to cover our educators time, a light lunch, though we will probably just go to the chippy! and to put some cash in the coffers so we can offer even more excellent adventures !!

Click or tap the link below for the poster.




#DoncasterIsGreat for Upcycled Urban Farming

Bentley Urban Farm 1

PermaFuture are currently in the process of converting a horticultural training centre which has been mothballed for the last four years into and upcycled urban farm.

Over the last couple of weeks we – with help from some wonderful kids doing National Citizen Service who cleared out the poly-tunnel and greenhouse for us –  we have been clearing the site to prepare for growing a wide range of market garden crops. We made some surprising discoveries…

Chive Lawn

…like a beautiful smelling lawn of chive and oregano which had self-set from a former herb garden…


…and a number of different cooking and eating apple trees. Some areas hadn’t seen the light of day in quite a while. Like the drainage system which was full of newly created soil (which we’re using for one of our large planters) and wonderfully developed root systems…


…we’ve also unearthed a rather wonderful, wheelchair friendly, brick path…

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So hopefully it won’t be too long before we have the site open to the public.

Over the next few months we’ll be using reclaimed materials (from a growing medium made from recycled carpets to a hydroponic system made from junk) to build an upcycled, permaculture based, urban farm capable of providing  affordable fresh food and creating some much needed jobs in one of the poorest areas of the UK.

We’ll keep you posted as to how we get on 🙂


#DoncasterIsGreat for the Day Of The Dead | Rooted and @RightUpRStreet in Hexthorpe


The Rooted team had a great time in Hexthorpe Park this weekend, where we were taking part in Right Up Our Street‘s DAY OF THE DEAD event.



We set up the wonderful PixieWorks Yurt and decorated it with skulls made from reclaimed fabric (a massive thank you to everyone who helped to make these… especially Rachel who didn’t sleep for a week with all that sowing!).



Inside the Yurt we had lantern-making and face painting…



Outside Joie Carruthers created a shrine which included some of our planters…



…which local Shaman, Suzanne Wass, blessed with her drumming…


There was drumming too from the wonderful Luther King…




Luther and his friends also played live music for the crowds ahead of the night-time, lantern-lit procession to The Dell. More about this (and more photos…) will follow in a future post 🙂