The Apricot Centre – a review.

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On Tuesday 16th September, six members of Greener Sudbury,  and one new member, visited The Apricot Centre in Lawford. This venue is a mix of farm and orchard that is  managed on the principles of permaculture, “…a practical design system for sustainable living that offers an ethical, creative and inspiring response to the global challenges of climate change and peak oil. It stresses working with nature and helps you identify steps for positive change for yourself, your family and your community.”

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This was explained in further detail by Marina O’Connell, owner and manager of the site. We went on around the site, amazed at the abundance of fruit trees. We were all new to the principles of permaculture but Marina, who teaches courses on the subject, was more than happy to teach as well as answer questions. I thoroughly recommend going on one of Marina’s talks – and if you know six people to go with you, then the talk is free.

(by N. W-K)

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Permaculture.

WALK AND TALK

PERMACULTURE FOR GARDENS

TUESDAY 16 AUGUST

10am – 12:30pm

Places still available for what will be

a fascinating morning at

The Apricot Centre, Lawford CO11 2LY

To book a place, or for more information, please leave a comment on the blog and we will contact you directly.

Car share available.

 

The Apricot Centre & Permaculture

The Apricot Centre

Manningtree

Walk and talk on permaculture for gardens.

Tuesday, 16 August

10:00 – 12:30

Marina O’Connell, who runs the farm, has offered to take us for a wander round the farm and garden. Marina will explain the principles of permaculture and how they can be applied practically in a garden setting. We will then go inside for a discussion and to ask any questions.

Marina keeps things informal and practical – and we hope to get some ideas for re-planting and developing the Quay car-park.

….and the visit is FREE!

As the farm is part of the DEFRA funding scheme, we will need a minimum of six people to confirm booking – please confirm by leaving a comment in the comments section of the blog. Closer to the time we can organise car shares and arrange set-off times.

*Permaculture is the design of more sustainable environments
 using nature as inspiration. By observing and learning how 
 wonderfully productive eco-systems can be, we can learn from
 this and consciously design our own gardens, lives, farms
 and environments to work with nature. To be sustainable in
 caring for the earth, natural resources and the people whose
 lives the systems touch upon, and to be fair and equitable,
 returning rather than retaining surpluses.

Coppins Farm Walk Update.

20160625_102442A sunny morning on 25 June attracted nine visitors to Coppins Farm for a nature walk led by John McGlashan.

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20160625_112343There were rare specimens as well as an abundance of wildflowers to be found, including yellow rattle, red pimpernel, oxeye daisy, pyramid orchids and bee orchids. Thanks, John – and thanks to everyone who came along!

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Coppins Farm

Next week we have planned a stroll through Coppins Farm in Alphamstone, CO8 5HE, led by John MacGlashan – click on the link to read about one of our visits in 2015.

DSCF4651John runs his meadows under the Higher Stewardship scheme, so he’s always interested to identify what is growing, flying and creeping about – we’ll bring the Complete British Wildlife photo-guide!  It’s happening next Saturday 25th June, meeting at the farm at 10am or sharing cars at 9.30am at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre car park.

Walk On The Wild Side…

Food from our hedgerows

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Nick Miller led an early autumn foraging walk at his wonderful property at Tiger Hill, near Assington, for Greener Sudbury on Sunday 23 August.
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This Site of Special Scientific Interest has a wealth of interesting plants and ancient woodland to explore, and participants enjoyed nibbling sour-tasting wood sorrel (good in omelettes), sampling the flesh of hawthorn berries (supposed to be good for the circulatory system), and smelling wild mint for a mood uplift!

Intrepid explorers!

A late summer/autumn list of foraging plants common in our woods and hedgerows is given below. These must only be picked and eaten if you are 100% sure you have identified the right plant, as many of our native species are poisonous. Do take care.

FOOD FOR FREE: LATE SUMMER – AUTUMN

FRUIT
Blackberry
Raspberry
Elder
Rosehips
Hawthorn
Sloe, Damson
Bullace
Cherry plum
Crab Apple
Rowan, Whitebeam

NUTS
Sweet Chestnut
Hazel
Beech

FLAVOURING
Peppermint
Hops
Hogweed seeds
Horseradish

FUNGI
Puff-ball
Boletus, Cep
Field Mushroom
Parasol
Blewit
Blusher
Oyster Mushroom
Ink-cap (not with alcohol)
Chanterelle

LEAVES
Watercress (must be cooked)
Wintercress

Remember, winter is a time for preserved food – dried, bottled, pickled, cured, jellied, sprouted or, of course, frozen.

Beautiful Bluebells.

What a lovely way to enjoy the 1st of May. Thirteen of us (not to mention the dog) came together for a visit to Coppins Farm for a walk amongst the bluebells, and a very fine afternoon it was too. As well as its bluebells, the farm enjoys grassland, wildflower meadows, and most of its original hedgerows, making it a haven for wildlife, including butterflies and insects.

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The weather was dry and mild, but we worked up a tiny bit of a sweat clambering over the occasional fallen tree trunk. The bluebells were stunning, just as we’d hoped, and between us we probably took several hundred photographs!

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It’s difficult to do justice to the colour – waves of hazy purple and blue, washing down the hill.

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We finished our walk with a quick look at the Showman’s wagons, and the Victorian railway carriage, available as holiday accommodation at the farm – ideal as a base for exploring and walking in the area!

We are planning another visit to the farm to see the wildflowers some time in June, so watch this space for details. Thanks to everyone who came along!

Join a bluebell walk.

In 2014 we were lucky enough to have a guided walk to see the bluebells at Coppins Farm, in Alphamstone.

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Another trip is planned to see this year’s bluebells, which will hopefully be as spectacular as last year.

Meet on Friday 1st May at the wildflower beds outside the Kingfisher Leisure Centre, Sudbury, CO10 2SU at 1:30pm for anyone car-sharing. The walk will start at 2pm at Coppins Farm, Alphamstone, CO8 5HE. Please come prepared with good walking shoes!