October 2016 marked the point where the British Commonwealth adopted carbon farming and permaculture (an innovative framework for creating ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere) as key climate solutions.

Given that the Commonwealth encompasses a third of the world’s population, that step should be momentous. We wish to find out what, since then, has actually been implemented. Click on this link to access the Permaculture Magazine – always an uplifting & real-life, practical read for the hands-on Greens.

SYMBIOSIS makes for fair shares. The old South American cultures applied it by growing maize, beans & gourds mixed together. The first supported the climbing beans which fixed nitrogen in the soil which the gourd leaves protected from the sun.

On this plot near Hill Hook Pool, brown lentils and runner beans together in flower attract pollinators, crowd out weeds and protect the soil from heavy rains.  no sprays or artificial fertilizers are used. A rather large hedgehog does irregular sweeps for slugs.

Below: Another urban perma-garden just to the west of the Chester Road, Sutton Coldfield:  H & Bee live in a pair of semis. They’ve taken out the dividing barrier in the two back gardens – but not irrevocably. If needs be, it can be re-partitioned. For decades, first in one of the home counties, Bee has been practising & preaching permaculture, giving group talks on its principles & proving them together with other local association members.

So in late August we see some of their maize towering over H. Apples adorn Bee and a range of vegetables complements their self-sufficiency.  Around the raised beds reclaimed copper strip & piping deters slugs and snails.

Roughley Ward: A campaigning Green Group member & grower at this year’s award winning Hill allotments,  also makes rational use of the south wall at home as a free, solar storage-heater to boost tomato & vegetable pepper yields – conveniently near the kitchen door.  Permaculture reasons that using margins & edges this way is a clear bonus. It also traps that extra CO2 without tilling a single foot of ground.

The garden below with a small added water feature and wild flower patch shows that one can make a committment with only modest changes.

Lastly – how to fruitfully use a drainpipe!

Yes, re-use, re-imagine & share like there’s no tomorrow! The “Squander Bug” was Hitler’s ally but he’s alive & thrives, choking the whole world today.




At our meeting on  14 June, [See below], we reported that Green Group trials on a test lawn plot over five years show that sections left un-mown till late after natural flower & grass seeding time produced faster and greener growth the following year. Amphibian & invertebrate population was notable even in drier periods. The collapse of insect populations in W. Europe is of great concern.  As also is the current UK folly of garden ponds and features being considered “out of fashion”. Build yours now!

Please send us any results of experiments.

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