Things have been moving swiftly forward since my last blog post, In May, I was officially enrolled for my diploma in Applied Permaculture Design. My diploma tutor is Wilf Richards a man of many hats one of which been a founding member of the workers cooperative Abundant Earth located on the edge of Durham City where he focuses on managing the veg box scheme, the hen area, running permaculture courses and supports with admin and accounts work. I’ve only met Wilf a couple of times but he seems to be one of those totally chilled out people who are very switched on.
We visited Abundant Earth for their open day where we ate cake and sipped herbal teas in the sunshine, a very enjoyable day and we met some really cool people. I headed back up to Abundant Earth on the Sunday for the North East Permaculture Diploma group meeting where I had my enrolment, this was another day of meeting really cool people who are doing some really inspiring things. Hopefully, I can head back up over the summer and photograph the Abundant Earth site so I can share with you all how cool this place is.
I’ll add a blog post soon giving an overview of what a diploma in Applied Permaculture Design is but for now, I’ve added a permaculture section to the website with a portfolio page where I’m going to be presenting my finished permaculture diploma designs and also the process that went into each of these designs.
Richmond and Dales Permaculture Network
The past month I’ve been connecting with a few permaculture folk here in the North East of England and joining different local permaculture networks all of which involve at least an hour’s drive to visit so I’ve gone ahead and created a Richmond and Dales Permaculture Network Facebook group. This is phase one of a project to be followed up with a separate website and local permaculture meetups. Please check out our Facebook group it’s open to all so please feel free to join up and see what people are up to in this part of the world. If you live in the local area and feel inspired to get involved please get in touch with me, I’d love some help to get this project rooted, watered and growing.
The pollen gardens hits Instagram
Still keeping on the topic of the internet I’ve been busy these past few months getting to grips with using Instagram as a tool to promote my permaculture endeavours. Through the use of high-quality photography, I’ve started to tell a story of what I'm up to and sharing images of nature mostly through a macro lens. Each day I’ve been posting two photographs and with each post I’ve been seeing a steady increase in followers from all around the world who seem to be enjoying what the camera is capturing.
If my Instagram account has brought you to this blog post thanks for your support, if you have not checked out the Instagram page please head on over by clicking this link https://www.instagram.com/thepollengardens/ or by searching for thepollengardens in Instagram.
Allotment and garden grow
Last year I finally harvested enough oca to eat and was left with lots of smaller tubers that I could replant for this year’s crop. A few weeks ago I planted out about 70 oca plants at the allotment so I’m expecting good things from those this year. I’ve also planted 9 yacon plants at the allotment, last year I was a bit disappointed with the small size of the yacon plants but the few tubers I harvested tasted too good not to have another go at growing this year. After harvesting the yacon last year I cut up one of the large tubers into chunks stored them in dry compost over the winter in the attic along with the oca. Come spring both the yacon and the oca started growing shoots, I then potted all the tubers up and grew them on in a plastic shelter outside making sure they were well protected from any frosts before taking them all to the allotment.
In front of the house, we currently have an abundance of salad leaves growing strong and I’m regularly out foraging for different leaves and flowers to make tea infusions with, at the moment the elderflower are in full blossom and I'm coming home with bags of them.
What’s coming next?
Gathering seems to be something I'm doing lots of at the moment everything from ideas for my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design to different ideas for blog posts, I'm always out gathering more and more photographs so with all of these I should end up with lots to share. The website will be growing larger with more work put into growing the permaculture pages and I'll also adding more books to the book resource page which have been useful to my learning.
Enjoy the start of the summer
Abundant Earth Coop - Durham http://www.abundantearth.coop/
Richmond and Dales Permaculture Network https://www.facebook.com/groups/619045901583420/
the pollen gardens - Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thepollengardens/
for more info about a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design https://www.permaculture.org.uk/