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The four sisters

Testing out the new content feed by using this blog post.

The Snail of Happiness

When I wrote about the ‘three sisters‘ planting that I did earlier in the year, I promised I would report on how it has progressed. Well, the situation so far is good – beans are flowering, we have already harvested our first courgettes and the flint corn is shooting up. However, I have to confess that I introduced an extra sister into the mix by including sunflowers, and these too are doing well.

You may be wondering about the sunflowers and I have to admit that growing them was unintentional (although not unwelcome). We feed a mix containing sunflower seeds to the wild birds in the garden. Earlier in the year I left a tub-trug containing compost near to one of the window feeders and clearly not all of the seeds that the birds dislodged got eaten. Thus, when I planted my intentional seeds in pots, I got…

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Back in Ireland

Once again I find it hard to believe that it has been so long since my last post. A lot has happened in these last few weeks, not all of which is what I predicted previously!

The Samrey Wren wind generator finally arrived and I set it up right next to my caravan on a site in the Cambridgeshire fens. The site was reasonably well exposed to the prevailing wind and it proved to be a good test site over the 10 days I was there. Set-up of the system was reasonably straight forward. The turbine is of excellent design and very well made. After bolting on the three blades to the main body and fitting the nose cone the main task was the assembly and erection of the mounting mast. I had purchased a six metre long aluminium scaffold pole from SGB in Ipswich, about 45 miles away. After having the pole cut in half and buying a pipe joiner I transported the pole to the fenland site. The supplied tower kit comprised wire rope, shackles etc and three well made and designed ground pins that look like giant cork screws with mounting bolts welded to the top. The base plate is also well designed and acts as a pivot point when raising and lowering the mast, a task that is quite easy to perform by one person. Although some instructions were supplied the trickiest part of the whole operation ( which, working alone, took a total of about 4 hours the first time I put it up) was getting the layout and guy spacing right. Before taking the mast down I recorded my own measurements on a diagram. This provided me with very useful information when it came to erecting the mast here in in West Cork, particularly since in the fens I was working with deep black top soil and here in Ireland I was working with a pretty rocky site! I am now, after two weeks of operation, well pleased with both mast and tubine performance on an exposed site about 6 miles inland from the Atlantic coast. Winds rock the caravan around at times but so far the mast has stood firm!

Following the time in the fens I moved to Herefordshire for a while having booked a ferry for the end of October. This was about a month after I had originally planned as I wanted to do some visiting and to attend the Rainbow Circle AGM which was held near Leominster towards the end of October.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, M and the girls where moving about five miles from where I had left them and are now in a farm house which also has room me me here in my caravan right next to the house. By good fortune the wind blows as well here as it does at the site I was expecting to be on when I returned here. I have slow but usable mobile internet connectivity here too. 

 

T

Catch up News

Such a lot has happened since my last post! All I can do here is a very quick run-through of some of the highlights! 

I ran my wood heated-solar pumped showers at the RC camp and provided nearly 250 hot showers over a two week period. The second weekend I left Andy in charge of the showers and headed off for a three day `break` at the Shambala Festival. I took my tent and went off with Viv and her daughter to promote `Festival Eye`, the festival goers guide to many of the UK festivals. 

At the end of the RC camp I towed a caravan across to Hereford for Lisa and took the opportunity to visit some yurt making friends who work and live in a secret woodland location. After a night spent in a superb yurt I reluctantly returned to Derbyshire in time for my caravan to be towed off a very wet site. It has been a pretty wet season all in all. I started the season by being towed both on and off the Sunrise Festival site in Somerset last May.

Since leaving Derbs I have spend some time in Cambrideshire where I have a workshop. I have made two more wood-burning stoves and I am currrently awaiting the arrival of a new wind turbine that I can use to supplement my portable power supply. I currently have a large solar panel that supplies my needs for eight months of the year but I am hopeful that winters will become more bearable with the addition of some wind power. 

More on the wind genny later!

 I arrived at the Rainbow Circle summer camp site near Ashbourne in the Peak District last evening. My car is great for towing my home on the road but does not do very well on wet grass so I promptly got stuck before making it to the main field. I said hello to a few old faces including Kestral who, as a camp coordinator, was strolling around the site with his clipboard. When I had that role last year I was busy erecting structures and doing all things physical. Still, things get done just the same. I have decided to take a bit of a back seat at camp this year; more an observational role I think.

I stayed in the car-park field where I was stuck last night. This morning I had a visit from Michelle who called for a cup of coffee and a catch-up chat. I had not seen her since last year`s summer camp. While we were talking Steve Goat came to the caravan and said that he and and a few others would be turning up shortly to give me a push. True to his word five men turned up and quickly got me on the move. A short drive to the next field and I was soon parked up between Dice George`s caravan and Terry`s tent. Nasher then said he would pitch his tent between Terry and me. We tatted up together whilst catching up on each others news. Tatted up, I lit the burner and sat down to write this entry. Good three G signal here so I shall be able to keep up to date on my mobile Internet connection.

Great News Today

Yes, great news.

I got word (by text) today that Sean will be happy for me to take my green caravan onto his farm in October. I will be back with M and the girls on the Acre  in Incharoe in West Cork. The caravan is my home and will need to be towed up with a tractor. Sean has some trees (Oak, Ash and Larch) that need planting and a stable that needs building. I left the area at the end of April after spending eight months in the area last winter.

M found Sean`s Acre a few weeks before I left and we worked hard to refresh the caravan and cabin that is on the site. It had been deserted for a couple of years as had the once well maintained veg plots and beds as well as a couple of hazel pole fruit cages. We also cleared and planted a couple of raised veg beds and reclaimed a herb bed. The hazel pole poly tunnel was cleared and planted up with tomatoes and cucumbers. M`s daughter J helped me build a chicken run ( I have yet to see the two hens that were obtained a couple of weeks after I left Ireland).

Other jobs that were done in those few short weeks included cutting back the furze (gorse), digging a poo pit, and clearing mud off the track. M`s younger daughter Z also helped to gather and lay fresh shale on the access path.

Much to do when I get back then!

Work for Sean, wind power system to get up and running, tree house to build and, oh yes, amazing on site bender to restore!

I am working towards travelling from UK on October Ist.

Off to Rainbow Circle camp in Derbyshire on Friday. That`s about 120 miles from Cambs where I am at moment. I am taking my wood burning shower equipment again. The new improved version works even better and hot water for six showers is ready for use within 30 minutes of lighting the fire barrel… More on the shower later perhaps!

Hello world!

 

This is me

This is me

I am psychodynamic counsellor and pioneer ecowarrior. I have been lotec living since the 1970`s and  am now embarking on a new phase of eco-living. I shall be expanding my work with both renewable energy systems and small scale organic food production.

 Maybe now there are more like-minded people out there I can combine both my ecopractices and counselling skills into some sort of integrated whole. Maybe running workshops teaching the skills and discipline’s that can lead to yet another new world order. Maybe the time of the econut has arrived. I certainly hope so.