Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Hi All,
Just thought you might be interested in these Freebies.

Free Green Giveaway. Stop wasting energy - Start saving money

FREE Energy Saving Plug

Don't just standby, start saving energy with a free LIME energy saving plug worth £19.99. This intelligent plug turns your appliances off standby in one easy click via your remote control. Households in the UK now spend around 10% of their electricity bill on standby power, with the average household having up to 12 gadgets left on standby at any one time. (source: Energy Saving Trust). Leaving items on standby wastes energy and money, so start thinking 'savings' not 'standby' with a free LIME energy saving plug and you could save up to £20 on your energy bills.

FREE Water Widget

One fifth of a household's carbon footprint already comes just from heating water (source: Act On CO2), turn your shower into an ecoshower and save money on your energy and water bill. This clever gadget takes less than 5 minutes to fit and reduces the amount of water used by up to 70%. For an averaged sized 3 bedroom house this could result in a saving of up to £80 off your annual bill. Not suitable for low flow showers and not recommended for electric showers.

Offer ends 31st December 2010 so register now!

If you do not have an alternative promotional code please use: GADGETClaim Gadgets

Only one free product per GB household (excluding NI) across all free standby and water saver offers from energy suppliers. Unfortunately we will not be able to process your application if you have previously received either product from an energy supplier and we are unable to notify you. Water widget offer excludes households who already own a water saving shower device. Offer available to GB residents only. Please allow 28 days for delivery. Offer is subject to availability. Actual product supplied may look slightly different to the images shown.

*Annual savings comprise of up to £20 by using the energy saving plug and savings of up to £80 by using the water widget; based on a typical 3 bedroom semi detached house.

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Saturday, 11 December 2010

Dig This!

The Duchy folk have come good again.
Kevin's offer of a digger to form the pond was honoured yesterday (Friday) and we now have the basis for the pond. Mike and Glenys were instrumental in settling on the final layout. All thanks to them too. All we need now is a rather large butyl pond liner!

They're just starting to dig. Mike and Kevin are stood in the midlle of the site for the pond


Thursday, 9 December 2010

Scuppered by the Weather

What can you say? We turned up last Saturday with all good intentions. At least it had stopped snowing on Friday so there was some hope some work could be done - but no sooner had we brewed up and supped our tea in preparation to get busy, it rained! Light at first but within 1/2 half an hour it was 'stair rods'.
The rain did hold off for a while so I got set to fill in a hole where there had obviously been a test scrape some time earlier. About 1 cubic metre of earth had been put to one side. Well, I tried stabbing the spade into the earth pile and promptly jarred my wrist! The earth was still frozen solid! Almost permafrost (I exagerate a tad!). I think that was the time we decided to abandon for the day, all cold and wet and some requiring a pee due to the tea!
We did discuss what the Duchy had offered to help us with. Kevin (God bless him) agreed to call in a digger to excavate the pond and Mike, with the help of Glenys, will be on site when we get word the digger be there, just to make sure its in the right place. That will save us some serious work.
Also outside the gate I noticed a huge pile of topsoil put there for our use. This for the raised beds and anywhere else we can use it. When Steve is free we can get set to form the beds then start importing soil.
If the Orchard is your thing then this Saturday is an Orchard Workday. PLEASE wear strong footwear - particularly hard soles (souls?) are required. We convene at 10 am. See you there.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Edible Hedge

Saturday the 13th saw about 15 of us down at the Farm planting the "trees" donated by the Woodland Trust. The pack contained over 100 trees and shrubs of varying sizes and consisted of dog rose, crab apple, elder, hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel and sea buckthorn.
Planted along the north perimeter fence to form a good screen when established, the hedge should produce some lovely nuts and berries for humans and wildlife alike. The planting was entirely random so a good mixed hedge!

Even the younger members got involved

Steve donated this Horse Chestnut,
which has been planted in what will be the recreation area

Yes, that twig in the corner really is a sapling!

If any member has a sapling that's getting too big for their garden just let us know and I'm sure we will find a place for it. Nut trees especially welcome.


Thursday, 21 October 2010

It's a Laugh!

One of our number is Mark who organises the Comedy Club at various times and venues in Dorchester. He decided he'd like to donate the profits from these to Transition Town Dorchester for use on its projects.
The first of these donations, a little over £1 000, was handed over at the Farm last weekend and is for use by/for the Farm or Orchard. SUPERB. Thanks, Mark. Keep up the good work.

Mark presenting the Cheque to Jenny - with a few hangers-on standing by!


First Workday.

And a fine day it was, too.
About a dozen of us all turned out to mark out the areas on-site that had been agreed on the plan. We now have a good idea where the Chicken run, raised beds, polytunnel and pond are going.
The new gate has been installed, courtesy of The Duchy, along with a new fence on the east side of the site.
The bank to the east is mainly earth that has been deposited when the initial work at Poundbury started - and over the years its slipped a little, aided by some badgers and rabbits! Its taken maybe 10 years to push the old fence over. The new one is about 1 metre inside the old one.
The bank to the west has now been included into the site and this'll be good for bushes and small trees to coppice or crop as appropriate.

One needs to get one's priorities right, doesn't one.

Man with Tape Measure

Next planned workdays will be the weekend of the 13th and 14th November to get some paths installed and to plant 150 (yes 150) trees which have been donated by the Woodland Trust. Fancy a bit of hard graft for the Autumn? Come along.
There will be other workdays organised by individual groups and the first of these is this weekend when a few will be preparing the site for the chicken house. It's a bit uneven just there. They may even set the base ready for House construction. Help will always be welcome. Speak to Kathy or contact me via this post.


Thursday, 16 September 2010

I'ts just the Beginning Pt 2

It all started like this.
Whilst at a Transition Town Dorchester Food group meeting I had this harebrained idea that it would be nice if Dorchester had a community farm. Inspired by the book "Local Food - How to make it happen in your community" (want to borrow it? Ask!) I thought I'd stick my neck out.
First the Google Earth search to find odd bits of land within the town boundary that would be half suitable (I found 5) then off to see who owned them. It turned out all bar one were owned by the Duchy of Cornwall! Next a quick phonecall to Denis Holmes at the Town Council to find out who to contact, then a call to the good Simon Conibear. I was warned he might be quite cautious and, well, less than helpful (not by Denis though) so my call to him started a bit tentatively, but as conversation progressed it was obvious he was intrigued.
"Put together a proposal," he said,"send it to me and I'll see what we can do".
So, with the help of Andy and Linda from TTD I drew up the proposal. All very official and as professional as we could make it and, on the 1st November last year, sent it in.
Just before Christmas Simon asked to meet me to discuss said proposal, so, with Jenny for support, we went to see him. He couldn't have been more helpful and supportive and that made the whole process much easier.
After a few bits of toing and froing, we settled on what is now known as Under Lanche Community Farm.
The rest you probably know - a site open day and a public meeting later we have the makings of an exciting project.
And the Duchy are looking to deliver topsoil and hard paving quite soon which will enable us to get started with some ground breaking (back breaking?) work.

See you all soon.


Wednesday, 15 September 2010

It's just the beginning

Hi All,
Eventually got around to starting the blog.
If anyone wants to contribute then just forward copy to me at rentman(at)mac.com and I'll publish. Please feel free to comment by choosing the (would you believe) COMMENT tag at the bottom of the entry.