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!!

Living Permaculture Courses


Restorative Retreat Weekends


(info en castellano abajo)

Recharge and detox with a weekend in the stunning Vall Rovira, Matarranya, Spain.

This all-inclusive package offers a completely stress free weekend in a tranquil natural setting with healthy organic meals cooked for you in our outdoor kitchen. You can choose from a range of sessions including yoga, relaxation techniques, mindfulness, sketching, sustainable living and life coaching. Or you can simply read in a hammock, dip in the clear water of the River Algars, and observe the wildlife.

The accommodation is comfortable and set up for you with mattress and bedding. All the essentials for living outdoors for two nights are provided at the site.

We look forward to dining under the stars with you!

Dates 2018 : tbc 


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(info en castellano más abajo)

 It´s amazing how medicinal a couple days of connection to nature can be. My eyes were refreshed by the greenery and lack of artificial light. I savored the sunshine and relished the total darkness, slept deeply, dreampt vividly, and felt lighter under the tapestry of stars. My brain waves shifted from constant saturation of the city to the steady calm of breath and wind. Playing in the river made me feel back at home in myself, in touch with my childlike essence. ” – Zoe, Participant in our 2015 retreat.

Price – €120

includes local transport, all meals, drinks, activities and campsite from Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime.

Maximum 10 guests

(but there is plenty of space for everyone – we guarantee a secluded river spot and we maintain a peaceful, sometimes silent, atmosphere)

here’s a 20 sec video which shows the site

More information about the campsite

 Contact Anna : thegurney@gmail.com

To book your place transfer €60 to The Boodaville Asociation. The remaining 50% is to be paid on arrival in cash. Terms and conditions. Our retreat weekends are not for profit, and all income goes towards the Boodaville Association and it’s work in sustainability education.


The timetable for sessions will be decided nearer the time based on what visitors are most interested in. The sessions can be run by the river or on site according to what you would like.

YOGA – Hatha yoga sessions with a qualified teacher will be offered in the morning shade on the roof terrace. Evening classes can be offered if there is a demand. There are several shady secluded spots for visitors who want to practice yoga for themselves.

MINDFULNESS/MEDITATION/OBSERVATION – Sessions led by Anna Gurney (Founder of The Boodaville Project, BSc Hons Psychology, PDC and 2 years experience leading workshops) These sessions will be adapted to the unique surroundings at Boodaville where the focus is on ourselves, our bodies, but also on the natural environment which we are part of.

LAUGHTER THERAPY – If anyone is keen to try this I’m very interested in it and would like to give it a go! The focus of the weekend is enjoyment; an indulgence in feeling good, smiling, breathing deeply and channeling positive energy through your body and the group. So laughter therapy would fit right in.

DAYLIGHT AND MOONLIGHT WALKS/SIT SPOT – Exploring the valley alone or in small groups. Mindfulness techniques can be applied to make the most of these special adventures.

DETOX –  Enjoy delicious organic three course meals with us. All food is animal free and we can also offer a detoxifying diet during the weekend.

SKETCHING – A step further than the sit spot, visitors will be offered the materials they need, some basic techniques and as much time as they enjoy observing and drawing.

MASSAGE – We will make space and time for some massage therapy.

SUSTAINABLE LIVING – The Boodaville Project, and especially this weekend event, is an example of living in a sustainable way, according to permaculture principles. As well as brief explanations and reflections during the weekend on the way we eat and the way we use our time and resources, a full session can be included in the timetable covering the basic principles of sustainability, but with a focus on sustaining ourselves in today’s busy world. (Led by Anna Gurney)

COACHING – We are in contact with a professional coach. Sessions could be arranged as a group for some basic techniques or individually. Any coaching will take place on Sunday, to leave the first part of the program entirely for activities related to being in the moment.

en castellano

Recarga y detox con un fin de semana en la maravillosa Vall Rovira, Matarranya, España.

Este paquete todo incluído ofrece un completo fin de semana libre de estrés en un tranquilo paraje natural con saludables comidas orgánicas preparada para ti en nuestra cocina exterior. Puedes elegir entre una serie de sesiones como yoga, técnicas de relajación, Mindfulness, sketching, vida sostenible y life coaching. O simplemente tumbarte a leer en una hamaca, sumergirte en las aguas claras del río Algars y observar la vida pasar.

El alojamiento es cómoda y montaremos colchones y ropa de cama para los participantes. En Boodaville encontrarás lo imprescindible para vivir dos días en la naturaleza.

Te esperamos para cenar bajo las estrellas!

“Fue un fin de semana espectacular, me recargué de energía y volví a la ciudad más conectada conmigo y con la naturaleza.”– Participante en nuestro retiro de 2015

Precio – €120

incluye transporte local, todas las comidas, bebidas, actividades y zona de acampada desde el viernes noche hasta la hora de comer el domingo.

Máximo 10 invitados

(pero hay sitio en abundancia para todos – garantizamos un rincón solitario de río y mantendremos una calma atmósfera, en ocasiones silente)

aquí hay u den video 20 secundos que demuestra el sitio

Más información sobre el camping

 Contacto – Anna : thegurney@gmail.com

Para reservar tu sitio realizar una transferencia de €60 a la asociación de Boodaville. 50% del coste se paga en efectivo cuando llegues. Terminos y condiciones. Nuestros retiros funcionan sin animo de lucro y los beneficios están dirigido a la asociación de Boodaville que trabaja en educación para la sostenibilidad.


Vamos a confirmar el horario para las sesiones mas tarde basado en lo que los clientes les interesa. Las sesiones se pueden realizar al lado del río o en Boodaville.

YOGA – Hatha yoga con un facilitador licenciada por la mañana en la sombra de la terraza. Clases por la tarde se dispondrera si haya demanda. También hay sitios aislados y bonitos para gente que quieren practicar yoga individualmente.

MINDFULNESS/MEDITACIÓN/OBSERVACIÓN – Anna Gurney (Fundadora de The Boodaville Project, Licenciada en Psicología, CDP y 2 años experiencía en facilitar talleres). Estas sesiones serán adaptadas a la stuación único de Boodaville donde el centro de atención estará fijado en nosotros mismos, nuestros cuerpos y también en el ambiente natural de que formamos parte.

RISOTERÁPIA –  Si alguién tiene ganas de intentar esto me interesa mucho. El objectivo del fin de semana es disfutar : el lujo de sentirnos bien, sonreirnos, respirar profundamente y canalizar energía positiva a tráves de nuestros cuerpos y el grupo.

PASEAR POR EL VALLE CON SOL Y LUNA / SIT SPOT  – la oportunidad de explorar el valle solo/a o en pequeños grupos. Se puede aplicar técnicas de mindfulness para aprovechar hasta el máximo estos aventuras especiales.

DIBUJO – Un paso mas allá que el “sit spot”. A los participantes ofrecemos las materiales, algunas técnicas básicas y todo el tiempo que desean para observar y dibujar.

MASAJE –  Habrá espacio y tiempo para hacer terapia de masaje.

VIDA SOSTENIBLE – The Boodaville Project es un ejemplo de una vida sostenible y una vida que hacer caso a los principios de la permacultura. Encima de dar explanaciones y reflexiones breves durante el fin de semana sobre nuestro manera de comer y la manera de gastar nuestro tiempo y recursos, podemos incluir en el horario una sesión completo que explicar las pautas básicas para sostenibilidad, pero enfocada en cuidarnos psicologicamente en este mundo tan ajetreado. (con Anna Gurney)

COACHING – Estamos en contacto con un coach profesional. Se podia organizar una sesion como grupo para algunas técnicas básicas o hacer sesiones individuales. Cualquier actividad de coaching se realizara el domingo, para que mitad del programa esta solo para actividades de concienciación en el momento.

Permablitz and party..


Our last event of the year was a permablitz implementing Natural Farming methods with Kate Curtis and an awesome party in the dome afterwards. Our best event yet! Helen wrote a blog post about it here .

El último evento del año fue un “permablitz” trabajando en técnicas de agricultura natural y regenerativa y una fiesta genial en el domo. El mejor evento hasta ahora!!! Hay una entrada en el blog Living in the Future (en inglés) escrito por Helen Iles

More events and volunteering opportunities starting in April 2017!

So here I am writing the annual report, doing the accounts, preparing a detailed prospectus with information for potential eco-community members, thinking about the new website, and some fundraising winter activities…

Lots of work on the computer, lots of staying inside, and hopefully a lovely winter gathering in Barcelona at some point.

Feel free to contact me for the following thegurney@gmail.com

  • Long term volunteering from April 2017
  • Internships in social media / marketing / web design
  • Info on how to become 25% of Boodaville in the future
  • Organise a fundraiser in Barcelona this winter (payment available)
  • Ideas for courses / collaborations for the 2017 calendar.

crowdfunding is now live!!!

indiegogogogogogogo!! please support by sharing online, telling all your friends, and getting yourself one of the great rewards!! it’s a 20 day campaign…..

la campaña de recaudar fondos para el proyecto ha empezado ya!!! por favor darnos ayuda con un “like” o compartirlo con tus redes.. y hablar con tus amigos.. o tal vez contribuye y tener uno de los recompensas geniales!! es una campaña de 20 dias….

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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 :