Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chickenshack May 2008

I'm not long back from a wonderful week at CHICKENSHACK and send a big thank you to Steve and Mike for all their friendly hospitality. For those who haven't heard of the place check out their website:


Steve and his friends have been bringing back a Welsh small holding from "Green Desert" mono-culture to beautiful, diverse permaculture. Instead of fields and fields of just one crop there are scores of different plants growing together. Forest Gardening and Permaculture build up systems which don't need so much water, don't need tons of fertilisers, build up living soil, are more resistant to pests, give high yields of nutritious crops .... Its a return to sane food production - see the links to earlier articles below for more information.

Steve is running a Permaculture course this week and next. I lent a hand building the Composting Toilet block - and good fun it was too! It was great working together with everyone using whatever was at hand from tree limbs to reclaimed boards and barrels. The result was pretty amazing ... see below...

Peak Oil
While I was there I borrowed Steve's copy of "The Party's Over" by Richard Heinberg. It's a fascinating read and shows how so much of our activity is built on a source of cheap, abundant energy. Now that source seems to have peaked and we are already seeing rising fuel and food prices ... It would all be a bit grim if there wasn't a ray of sunshine in the form of Steve and friends in Wales, the people on the course, and many others like them all over the world cooperating towards a sustainable future. For more in that vein check out


it includes a link to "The Party's Over"

I'm off to another small holding cooperative in Fife soon - all about that when I get back.
Also, I have some great memories and photos to put on from my stay with Janet and Clive on their farm in the back hills of Portugal.