On the up…

Big day last Friday as the main growing section of the polytunnel got fitted out!

racking-5

Thanks to the kind loaning of a 7.5 tonne truck the racking was picked up from storage and delivered on site.

racking-1 racking-3

After carefully measuring and levelling the foot pads the upright frame went up with literally an inch to spare!!

racking-2 racking-4

The idea is to build a platform on the beams at the base, on that we will put grow bags to start us off whilst the last section will be the hydroponic test area. This gives us the opportunity to learn about running such a system and then roll it out over the whole polytunnel as we gain confidence.

racking-6

The tomato’s, cucumber and other vining plants will be trained up guide wires so eventually all you will see is a wall of green.

Fuelling the fires…

 

The main greenhouse had a gas fired water heating system that had been condemned. So after much toing and froing and the application of a reciprocating saw it has been pulled out.

boiler boiler-3

Gas is something we just can’t afford to use at this time and we can’t generate enough of our own on site (more details to come) so we hit open the idea of using a rocket stove based water heater.

rocket-mass-heater1

For those that have never heard of them, rocket stoves are essentially hyper efficient and well insulated burn chambers that convert the fuel into useable heat leaving nothing but ash. The whole process is called pyrolysis and occurs in a j shaped tube that allows air to mix freely with the site of combustion. We will be building a kitchen version into the outdoor cooking space.

rocket_stove_details

Originally we were going to use the output to heat water but after reviewing the pluming arrangements we have decided to go with a rocket mass heater system. In this type of design the output heat is run through a large thermal mass which absorbs the heat and releases it back slowly.

rocket-stove-mass-heater

Should be an interesting little project.

 

#DoncasterIsGreat for Growing… come along and find out why…

small get growing

Come and join us next Thursday (May 23rd) anytime from 6pm onwards as we begin to plant an Apothecary (food, herbs and medicinal plant garden) at Church View (just behind the Minster opposite Tesco car park) and find out how growing your own can make you healthier while saving you a shed load of money.

Click here to download and share a copy f our Get Growing poster 🙂

#DoncasterIsGreat for Growing in a Small Space… amendment

Please note the change of date on the following event…

small GGB_May_meeting_poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PermaFuture co-founder John Briggs will now be giving a presentation for Growing a Greater Bentley (GGB) on Growing in a Small Space at Bentley Baptist Church at 6:30pm on Tuesday, 14th May (rather than the 7th as previously stated). We’ll be following this up with a practical session in the heart of Doncaster at the end of the month, so watch this space for further details.

Click here to download, print and share a PDF of the altered poster. 🙂

#DoncasterIsGreat for Growing in a Small Space…

GGB_May_meeting_poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PermaFuture co-founder John Briggs will be giving a presentation for Growing a Greater Bentley (GGB) on Growing in a Small Space at Bentley Baptist Church at 6:30pm on Tuesday, 7th May. We’ll be following this up with a practical session in the heart of Doncaster at the end of the month, so watch this space for further details.

Click here to download, print and share a PDF of the poster. 🙂

Next DUG meeting 28/3/13 at The Sal… #DoncasterIsGreat #GuerrillaGardening

small DUG poster Mar 2013The next Doncaster Urban Growers (DUG) meeting is at The Salutation from 7pm on Thursday 28th March, 2013. As you can see from recent DUG posts members are itching to get active. With Spring in the air and mud on our minds you can expect some interesting debates and ideas! 😉

Click here to download a PDF of the poster.

Energy We Can All Afford: public meeting and Q&A session 8/3/13 #DoncasterIsGreat

energy_meeting

Next Friday (March 8th) at &:30pm there will be another debating session at Church View discussing the problem of fuel poverty and climate change. PermaFuture wi’ll be there to argue that there are no large-scale, centralised answers to this problem and that the only real solution is to educate individuals and communities alike in those philosophies and practices which will improve local resilience.

Contact Rachel for more info – rachel.hubbard@foe.co.uk / 07917 358796
Oganised by Doncaster Friends of the Earth with thanks to Doncaster CDT

Graham Burnett teaches permaculture in Doncaster – #DoncasterIsGreat

The very wonderful Graham Burnett will be visiting Doncaster this April to host an Introduction to Permaculture workshop at Glass Park in Kirk Sandall. Leave a comment or email us at permafuture.project[at]gmail.com if you’d like to get involved. Details as follows…

yorkshireDates; Saturday 6th – Sunday 7th April, 2013 (Meeting-up 5pm on Friday 5th for welcomes and orientation)

Venue; The Glass Park, Kirk Sandall, Doncaster. Nr St Oswald’s Church, Kirk Sandall Old Village, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN3 1RA

Led by; Graham Burnett (Dip Perm Des)

An excellent way to find out more about permaculture is to attend a two-day introductory course. This ‘taster’ will provide an opportunity to actively learn about the ethics, principles and applications of permaculture design.As well as introducing you to the key principles & practices of permaculture this course will mark the first stage in turning an underused recreational park into a self-reliant, permaculture-based, managed woodland.

Glass Park was a former dumping ground for a Pilkington’s Glass factory and was turned into a large recreational area by a local charitable trust over a decade ago. Since then the economic downturn has made it difficult for the trust to continue developing the site in the way that it had originally intended. PermaFuture is a local non-profit company which uses permaculture principles to help set-up low-cost, low-impact resilient community infrastructure. Working closely with the Glass Park Trust we intend to integrate woodland management, local food production/distribution and traditional skills, such as green-woodworking and bee-keeping, to build a financially self-sustaining educational facility for the people of Kirk Sandall and Doncaster.

Under the capable guidance of the very wonderful Graham Burnett (author and illustrator of ‘Permaculture- a Beginners Guide’ and holder of the Diploma in Permaculture Design) you will be introduced to the basics of permaculture design in a unique community space. Not only will you take away a grounding in the practice and philosophy of permaculture, you will be helping to lay the foundations for an important community project.

Full cost £55, concessions £35. £10 deposit secures a place.

Fees include tuition, light refreshments and handouts.

This course is limited to 15 places, so book now in order to ensure your place!

Please note that bookings/enquiries for this course are NOT via Spiralseed, please directly contact John Briggs permafuture.project@gmail.com

The next Doncaster Urban Grower’s (DUG) meeting is on the 21st Feb… #DoncasterIsGreat

DUG poster Feb 2013 (small)

Come and join us at The Salutation from 7pm on Thursday 21st February, 2013. We meet downstairs in the bar and then head upstairs for a presentation at 8pm… look out for the signs! 🙂

Click here to download and print a copy of our poster.

MAKER SPACE

 

or how I learned to stop worrying and just love stuff !!

In 2012 we exported a lot of stuff. One direction, rain water into the north sea, British pride and the royals ( the Americans get that last one free to make up for 1776 ).

But the export business started long before that… it started with ideas. And one of those ideas was the maker space. We sent it over to America where they have latched on to it with the same vigour they had with the Beatles. So once it became the done thing to hang around with old guys that knew more than you did, knew it and could give a toss they sent our baby back. Now we have sulky petulant teen of an idea ready to take on the world and the world be damned !! So what is this maker space I hear you cry ??

A maker space is simply a place where a group come together Co-operatively and in collaboration.

Errrr OK that’s not so simple is it…? I’ll try again….

A maker space is a building which house’s all the tools you need to build what ever you want. Fancy building a bookcase ? Maker space. Got a great idea for a product but can’t afford prototype or production cost’s? maker space.

You see not all of us are nicely well off middle class types with google chrome as our task bar. Most of us have an idea or two or just want to simply learn how to do stuff properly, that age old ache to create, to produce to express .. but the cost of the equipment is way out of our league and we may find it a bit hard to justify the cost of a pillar drill or bench lathe to our spouse’s if we just want to play. Especially as the benefits get cut and I wont get a pay rise this year. And forget about adult extension classes. Who has the time ??

Well your local space might have that equipment, if it doesn’t it might have the tools you need to build it. The people that you meet down there will come from a wide background, an untapped resource of unbelievable potential from welders and fabricators to draughtsmen and designer’s. The computer girl that will show you, that if you can use a photocopier you can use a 3D printer. The old time carpenter that can teach you all you need to know about making that presentation box.

You know, the one that wowed the sales team and convinced them that your doohicky is what has been missing all their lives….

A maker space is an eclectic mix of old world wooden hand tools to mega gig computers and star trek replicator’s …

So why am I banging the drum for the maker space. Well my nearest one is access space in Sheffield. It’s main focus is multi media but its also a bit too far to travel if I want to make a bike trailer !!

However a new year a new opportunity. Doncaster is getting it’s own maker space !! . the copley roadproject will soon open it’s doors to you fair and creative citizens so please show support for what could be the best thing since an ironed shirt….

Lets take a chance and become producers not consumers. Lets learn things we didn’t know we wanted to learn. We are willing to pay 20-30 quid for a gym membership why not the same for our local maker space ??

Here’s a few links to get you in the making mood…..

A podcast about maker space’s, it’s woth skipping the housekeeping !

Maker space in ann arbour

And another american based one

Hope to see you at the Copley road project !!