Straw Bale Build: Foundation

On our days off from the caravan rebuild, we’ve been helping a local French man Philippe who is building a straw bale house. He built his garage using the same technique last year as a test. This year, he’ll be building his house of about 45m squared 5.5 x 8, a little bigger than what…

Last Few Week’s Update: May/June

La Montaigne Magique In May, we stayed for two weeks at La Montaigne Magique. We picked super nutritious nettle and bramble shoots to be dried, sorted through wild rosemary buds, created balms using various macerations and helped set up a terrace herb garden. The hosts were always generous in sharing their knowledge and allowed us…

Composting

A short introduction to composting with some really useful tips that could get you well ahead.

Tree a Week: Poplar

Interesting facts There are around 25 to 35 species of poplar (not including hybrids), from the genus Populus which is in the willow family Salicaceae. Poplar are native to most of the Northern hemisphere, commonly named species include cottonwood, aspen and balsam. They are rapid growing, growing 7m in 5 years however their lifespan is rather…

Which Tools for Autonomy?

I’ve come to realise over time that having the right tool for the right job makes a hell of a difference. It saves time and effort, prevents injuries and saves money in the long run. As a relative beginner to countryside living, I’ve been curious to know which power tools are essential, which ones are…

Tree a Week: Ash

Characteristics and Interesting facts The Common Ash of the Fraxinus excelsior genus is in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. There are around 65 species of medium to large trees, the majority are deciduous however there are a few evergreens and subtropical species. Ash dominates most of the British woodland, it’s the third most common tree in…

Tree a Week: Cherry Tree

Characteristics and Fun Facts The cherry tree is part of the Prunus and has over 400 species of flowering shrubs and trees in the rose family (Rosaceae) and can be deciduous or evergreen. Prunus trees and shrubs are categorized as stone fruits, known scientifically as drupes. These also include almond, nectarine, peach, plum and apricot trees. The cherry can grow from 4 to…

Tree a Week: Alder

One of the most useful trees in a forest garden context, fertilising the surrounding plants with minimum intervention.