Building An “Earthship” Inspired Home In France

Check out my favorite episode of the “Grand Designs” program. This one covers a family building an earth ship inspired home in the south of France in a place called Brittany. It runs through all the stages of building the home and then goes back and revisits it a year later to see how everythings worked out for them.

A realistic example of what is achievable if you’ve got the money to build a home, meaning an “eco friendly carbon neutral home one is definitely a viable option. It also explores the limitations you might encounter if you try and build a home like this in England, it’s almost impossible for most due to planning regulations. Wales on the other hand are very open to the idea of sustainable homes. Hopefully things will change sooner rather than later.

Who doesn’t want a home that has no utility bills and even earns you a small profit everyday?

For more information: http://www.groundhouse.com/

Building A Planter From A Pallet

“You’ve seen pallet projects before but this one is simple, relatively quick, and results in a planter that you can use to grow strawberries, veggies, screening shrubs, or greenery of your choice. The resulting planter is not only functional but looks great too – no one would ever know that it was a simple pallet in its former life! The project requires one pallet, a few hand tools, and a couple of hours on a sunny afternoon. Once you’ve made one, you’ll be able to knock them out quickly so you could end up with an entire container garden using these upcycled planters.”

I think I’m going to use this on my weed ridden allotment to plant strawberries and maybe some raspberries.s

For the impatient, skip to 3 minutes in for instructions. Only one pointer really and that is to say that I’d personally buy some long screws to screw the legs into place.

Thanks for goes to Tanya over @ http://www.lovelygreens.com

How To Create A Hugelkultur Bed

How To Create A Hugelkulture Bed

This image shows the different layers that make up a Hugelkultur bed. It also shows how different methods of watering (drip or swale) penetrate the mound. I believe I’m right in saying the concept was put forth by Sepp Holzer from Austria.

Hugelkultur1
I love the look of these and think I’ll have a go at one on the allotment at some point in time. It’ll be interesting to see how well the logs act as a sponge to aid with water retention. I’m also interested to see how the heat produced by the rotting wood and also the added heat captured from the sun due to the angle of the bank would affect plant growth. Be fascinatin to do a side by side with more traditional beds, see what I can do.

hugelkultursmall

Its A Bugs Life

Why not create a “Bug Hotel” this year for all those many beneficial insects and pollinators. Creating a home for wildlife in your garden means you won’t have to work as hard in the future trying to attract them in. I plan on creating one in my allotment this year, right in the middle of the wild flower area.

This insect city made me smile
hotel1
The more diverse the materials and designs the better in my opinion. Let the video inspire you and use what you’ve got laid around. I’ll cover this more in the summer when I create my own. Good luck with yours.

Mini-Beast-Mansion

Off Grid Hot Water Solution

Building A Rocket Stove Mass Water Heater

Geoff Lawton goes though building a rocket stove mass water heater that’s to be plumbed in along with a mixer tap for cold water for all your washing needs. I find it very interesting stuff for off grid living or those with no access to amenities. Why go without when it’s s this easy?

I wanted to post this first but much more to follow on Rocket Stove Mass Heaters.

Sloe Gin

This lucky guy’s found some lovely “sloe berries” when foraging in the hedgerows, great for making that Sloe Gin

The Garden Smallholder

sloes

On a recent visit to the allotment I spotted sloe berries growing wild nearby. It was one of those moments of complete surprise, I was actually rummaging around in the hedgerow for things to use for decorating the house. Sloes are the fruits of Blackthorn, and they make a yummy gin. How on earth I missed seeing them before now I’ll never know, they weren’t spotted by anybody else – otherwise there wouldn’t be any left for me!

I didn’t have my camera to hand as it was only meant to be a quick visit to plant more garlic, I really wanted a photo of the berries for the blog before I started picking so I used one of those very posh camera phones (not mine). Somehow I managed to work out how to use it. A miracle for me.

It’s not a great photo (and I’ve made the berries look huge) but at least you can see what sloes look like…

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