Category Archives: general

All posts that do not fit into more specific categories

Obtaining a Yield from this Blog

This blog has just passsed it’s third birthday. I am now posting less frequently, and that reflects the fact that much of what I’ve written is seasonal, so why post a picture of a bee on willow, when there are already plenty of them on the blog somewhere else, probably this time last year, and the year before? If somebody is searching for a topic, the chances are that they will find what they are looking for in an older post. For those of you who follow the blog, I’m hoping that you will be just as interested in what I’m doing, as in the factual content. I still intend to put up plenty of new material, but it needs to be new, or update a project that is ongoing.

Lots has been going on since I last posted. The most important is that I’ve signed up to do the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design. One of the early decisions that I’ve had to make is how to present my portfolio for assessment. The assessments are a little way away, but without some planning, the workload could be huge.

I asked a fellow Diploma student if he wanted to design a way of presenting my portfolio for me. That sounds like I was giving him work to do, but one of the criteria upon which you are assessed is how you engage with the wider permaculture network. So me asking him for help, and him giving help, counts as a positive for us both. If he had decided to design a solution as one of his Diploma Design projects, it would also have given him another design to include in his portfolio. This sort of thinking is an example of the permaculture principle ‘Every element should perform more than one function’ (Mollison), or ‘Multiple Outputs’ (Whitefield). So in this case, the help gives each of us credit for engagement, he gets another design to add to his portfolio, and I get a designed solution for my portfolio.

When Darius and I chatted, he made an observation that has led to a whole new way of thinking. I was thinking that I would need a website to display my work, and/or a second blog. My thinking was that a website has a nice hierarchical form, that makes it easy to navigate through. A blog is less easy to find a way through. You can make  a series of pages, but they stand alone. The posts, like this one, are archived in one way. My blog is archived by date. It could be changed, but that would mean a lot of work, and a loss of Search Engine Ranking, whilst the site is indexed again. Starting from scratch seemed like less work. Darius’s input was that my blog was my porfolio, I didn’t need anything else, and that all of the evidence that I would need to present was already there.

All of the information, and all of the pictures here are a large resource. Another permaculture principle is to ‘Catch and Store Energy’ (Holmgren), so that you can use it in times of need. This blog is an example of stored energy, mine, in the form of time, effort, knowledge, pictures, and links. So now that I need it, it’s here to help me. Another permaculture principle is to ‘Obtain a Yield’ (Holmgren). So far, the blog has been my way of sharing what I’ve learnt, but there has not been a significant yield for me so far. The pop up ads that you see are nothing to do with me, they are put up by WordPress, who provide the webspace free. Time for me to Cash in.

For me, it means looking carefully at the categories and tags that I use, so that posts that include permaculture principles, or relate the Diploma in some way, are eay to find. A bit of work there, will help overcome any navigation problems. I also need to go through all of the old posts, add permaculture/diploma tags, and small comments that relate the content to permaculture in general,and the diploma process in particular. that will take a bit of time, but probably not as much as starting from scratch.

For you, I hope that there will be little difference. There will be  a bit more permaculture stuff than there has been, but that reflects it’s growing importance to me. Most posts will also make reference to any permaculture principles that are relevant, and may include references to the diploma criteria. As each of my portfolio designs are recorded, I will post them as separate pages, which you will be able to read, and comment on.

I’m enjoying the diploma work so far, and hope that you will enjoy reading about it too.


Take care



Busy, Busy, Busy…..Again

It’s that time of year again, where everything needs doing now, and I find out all of the things that I didn’t get done over the Winter. Having not posted for about three weeks, there is also a log jam of things to write about, but rather than try and catch up with everthing in one post, I’ll explain why I’ve not been keeping up with the blog bits here, and then try and put the other stuff into shorter posts, by category.

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My Permaculture Blog is Two Years Old

Hi All

The Second anniversary of The Sustainable Smallholding Blog slipped by a few days ago, without me celebrating. This time last year, I was celebrating over 6,000 hits on the blog in it’s first year. At the end of the second year, that has climbed to almost 19,000.

Last year’s post can be found by following the link. Permaculture blog

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Another Month Slips By at The Sustainable Smallholding

Another five weeks have elapsed since my last post, but with the days shortening, I once again find myself with time to share with you. Things are still busy, with the end of the beekeeping and vegetable growing season, and the start of the tree planting and wood harvesting season overlapping. Before I start posting on what I’m up to now, I thought that I would post a quick round up of  what I’ve been busy with over the past few weeks.

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Water, Scythes, and the Mystery Swarm

Hi All

It’s been nearly three weeks since my last post, and there are a number of reasons for that. primarily, it’s busy at the moment. That hasn’t been helped by my computer crashing(it’s still down). I have’nt had/made the time to sort it out yet. The three biggest draws on my time at the moment are scything, watering, and bees, especially swarms.

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