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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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.

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

Dibbing about in Donny…

Well,  It’s a new year and a new you. So hello to you !!

After much ado this year that has kept us pretty busy we are officially launching the DUG network in the salutation inn on January the 24th at 7PM

I’m sure your asking what the hell all this is about, so sit down put on your slippers and get comfy because I’m about to tell you !

DUG was created to help folks like yourselves take that first tentative step into the wonderful and exhilarating world of home grown food. Maybe the ever rising costs, especially fresh local produce, brought you to our door. Maybe it’s a concern about industrial practice or just a desire for a simpler better way of life. Whatever the reasons we welcome you with open arms to our friendly fraternity…

DUG is here to fill that gap between allotments and their associations and farmers and their experience. Here you will find like minded people, all with a story, a hint or a tip to help you get started, fight of those bugs and get the best out of your plot no matter how big or small. You don’t need an acre of garden or an allotment to grow loads of fresh high quality ingredients. In fact we think you’ll be surprised just how much you can cram into even a terrace garden with a bit of know-how.

Our vision, our aim here at DUG HQ is to see Doncaster turned into a food lovers paradise, a garden of plenty with little urban farms dotted through out or great borough.

Join us to help make it happen…..

DUG growers’ poster January 2013

Rio Minus Twenty: Dr Vandana Shiva on Rio +20, GMO and Open Source Seeds

We’re currently in the process of creating a company to make it easier to put our ideas into practice. Unfortunately this means we’ve neglected our blog for a number of weeks. Today however we came across a video of Dr Vandana Shiva speaking at the Rio Earth Summit and just had to pass it on…

Views from International #Permaculture Day 2012

International Permaculture Day occurs each year on the First Sunday in May.

Here are some great little videos from Patrick Whitefield, Andy Goldring and Polly Higgins, as posted on the wonderful IntPermacultureDay YouTube channel, enjoy…

Growing in a Small Space

As a follow up to our presentation for The Fringe last week, John Briggs will be giving a practical lesson* in Growing in a Small Space on Saturday 12th May, 2012. If you’d like to join us we’re meeting 9am at The Cenotaph on Roman Rd, Bennetthorpe, Doncaster.

Click here to download a copy of our ‘Growing in a Small Space’ poster.

* To cover costs we’re asking for a minimum donation of £2.00 on the day.