A geeky post about designing…

#treepropagation #growing #seedlings #design #permaculture #smallandslowsolutions #boodaville #riberola

At the Riberola Festival on 7th October Boodaville ran an Intro to Permaculture workshop and we did a practical planting seeds of 3 different types of trees, which have properties such as – drought resistant, fast growing, providing food for animals, (Jujube is edible for humans too), fixing nitrogen, resistant to high and low temperatures, don’t have loads of pests. The trees are Honey Locust, Jujube and Italian Buckthorn.

We left the seeds in vinegar for a few hours (ideally it would be overnight) and we scratched the surface of the seeds.. this imitates the natural process of the seeds being chewed by animals then in their acidic stomachs for a while.

Here is the picture of the seeds on the 10th November.

WhatsApp Image 2017-11-13 at 09.15.12

Honestly I have no idea whether anything growing there is the beginning of a tree. I mean I can see what is grass, but the other little things sprouting… I’m not sure!! What I did notice before I pulled out most of the grass is that the one pot with a bit of straw mulch, upper right of the photo you see? That pot had 5 times as much grass as the others. (yes.. i should have taken that picture!!)

¡¡¡THE GAME!!!!  : SPOT THE DIFFERENCE! between the three pictures 🙂


Winter Seedlings Photo 1
Winter Seedlings Photo 1
Winter Seedlings Photo 2
Winter Seedlings Photo 2
Winter Seedlings Photo 3
Winter Seedlings Photo 3

And here’s an explanation of what’s going on in these pictures. The level of detail to which we plan every step of the design is incredible to me. There’s so much to think about… I mean it took me weeks to find out which trees would be good to plant and to then collect the seeds. Luckily other permaculturists around have given me some seeds and helped out with that bit – Gerald gave me Honey Locust pods to take out the seeds, Alessandro told me about the Italian Buckthorn on the outskirts of Barcelona, and Richard gave me a bag of Jujube fruit he had collected from a tree about 10km from Boodaville.

The next step is leaving the seeds to grow over winter. They need water, they mustn’t freeze, and some sunshine would be good. Here are some of the things I thought about when I set them up like this

  1. Near the thermal mass wall of the house to prevent freezing
  2. Straw insulation
  3. Leave the crate a little bit away from the wall so none of the trees stay dry under the overhanging roof
  4. Leave the crate directly on the ground so there is drainage and they won’t get flooded in a storm
  5. No straw between the wall and the crate as the wall is the warm bit
  6. Relatively wind protected location
  7. Location that gets sun from 1pm until half an hour before sunset
  8. Overhanging tree will also help prevent frost
  9. Stones to help keep straw in place
  10. The changes I made between photos 1 and 3 in your spot the difference game were the last things I adjusted.


Thank you so much to Gerald in Albinyana for teaching me all of this!! and any comments, suggestions to people who’ve managed to read this far are very very welcome!!

Wwoofer week: day 5 and a holiday weekend

wwoofers attaching cables
wwoofers attaching cables
almost finished: table and fly free zone
almost finished: table and fly free zone
the back wall is finished
the back wall is finished


can you spot the odd stone out in the back wall? that's the one collected from a beautiful family day on Polzeath beach.
can you spot the odd stone out in the back wall? that’s a piece of Cornwall, collected from a beautiful family day on Polzeath beach.

After a week of hard work we just about finished with the jobs in hand, and the builders finished the back wall. Saturday was spent at Les Olles with plenty of rock jumping and exploring, and Sunday was a relaxing picnic at Pesquerra, one of my favourite places on the planet. A big thank you to all the wwoofers, friends and builders who got involved in helping out.

Después de una semana de trabajo duro, hemos acabado los objectivos y los constructores acabaron con la ultima pared de la casa. El sábado fuimos a Les Olles con muchas oportunidades de saltar de las rocas, y el domingo hicimos picnic en Pesquerra, uno de mis sitios favoritos en todo el planeta. Mil gracias a los wwoofers, amigos y constructores que se involucraron en ayudar estos dias. 



gardening for change

let’s plant some seeds          (article published in bcnmes july 2011 – anna gurney)

I swing wildly between months where it seems the world and everything in it is falling apart, and months like May 2011 where it seems that things are strangely coming together.  No, I’m not talking about Argentinian ball control, a multi-million euro field game or even Shakira’s very very tight trousers. I’m talking about the mind-blowing minutes of my life I spent sitting on someone’s shoulders in a sea of pink disco lights and the wild waving arms of 40,000 Pulp fans. Jarvis had just dedicated Common People to the indignats in Plaça Catalunya, Gil Scott-Heron had just left us with his legacy “the revolution will not be televised” and right there it felt like it was all about to happen. My over-excitment is rooted in a far more profound series of events: Starting on the 15th May, peaceful “yes we camp” protesters took over Plaça Catalunya. Their numbers swelled to the point of inspiring thousands to wake up to the idea that we live in a false democracy where governments pander to big business and their own special interests rather than what is best for people and planet. Despite the fact that we all then saw them being battered by the Mossos on Friday morning, it still feels like people are moving in the same direction, community action is the answer to many important political and environmental problems. Here are three more sources for that optimism.

carry on reading here :