We need to defend the Earth with the same ferocity we would evoke if it were our home, because it is. We need to defend its inhabitants with the same passion as if they were our family members, because they are. We need to defend our lands, communities and cultures as if our lives depended on it, because they do.

Mark Boyle – Drinking Molotov Cocktails With Gandhi

New wood store

Our old wood store has seen better days, is in the wrong place and looks ugly so the challenge was to build a new one close to the back door where it is easily accessible, gets the morning sun to help keep the wood dry, is more pleasing on the eye and has a smaller footprint than the old one. And it had to be built using “waste” materials. So here it is:



The main frame is from an old stud partition wall that was ripped out from next door and the roof cover is from another neighbour’s fence which they replaced. Most of the bottom half of the firewood is from Leeds Coppice Workers. The old wood store will be moved further up the garden to store and dry freshly cut wood from the garden.

Verdict so far: the wife seems happy and the chickens loved picking out the bugs from between the wood. Hopefully there are plenty of spaces in the store for insects to hide.


Grey Dagger Moth Caterpillar

I was pruning back some of the lower branches of an oak tree in our hedge this morning in order to let in a bit more light and to provide some more firewood. When I took a break for a cup of tea I found this little fellow on my arm:

It is a grey dagger moth catterpillar and it feeds on a wide variety of tree leaves. You can see more about it and the moth it develops into on Wikipedia and other websites.

Land as community

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

Aldo Leopold in the foreword to “A Sand County Almanac”


Love grows where my Rosemary goes

If you’ve met her, you’ll never forget her

And nobody knows like me


In the last few days I have kept coming across articles about how the herb Rosemary can improve your memory. Some scientists claim that it can improve your memory by up to 75% though how you measure that I don’t know. Apparently the turpenes in rosemary oil improve the functioning of the brain.

We have rosemary growing in the garden and it does very well but it is tucked away in a corner near some fruit trees and I don’t often visit it. These articles have made me start to rethink where I planted it. Maybe I should grow some along the path edges where we frequently walk, rather like we often do with lavender (another plant beneficial to the brain!) and then as we walk past we can inhale those wonderful turpenes and give us something worth remembering.

And maybe I should be encouraging our local schools to plant it along the paths and hang cuttings in the classrooms. Who knows, maybe they will then be able to claim that rosemary helped improve their exam results!

Now, how do you propogate, erm, what was it again?

“Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” by Edison Lighthouse.


I’ve not blogged in a while but I aim to put that right as I make a concerted effort this coming year to make progress on my diploma.

Over the last few years I have been learning the art of grafting fruit trees. One of the first trees I grafted was a Topaz and now that it has been planted out in a permanent place and matured a little it has produced it’s first apple. My beloved and I intend to share it later today so I may report back on it’s flavour!