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‘Introduction to Permaculture’ course in Hull

Have you heard about permaculture? If you’re interested in organic gardening you may have heard about it. Permaculture is a fairly simple idea, using nature as a template which is focused on finding solutions and is not just about gardening. Come along to Lausanne’s introductory weekend course to learn more and get a good grounding. Contact her on 07816 141169 or see poster for more details.


Click on poster to enlarge

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Inspiring ‘ACTION’ film night

Inspiring ‘action’ films showing on the Boulevard. The next Hull Permaculture Network & Transition Hull and will be held on:-
Mon 8 Feb, 7.45pm @ Boulevard Village Hall, HU3 2UE
The meeting will use short films and discussion as a way of exploring beneficial links between permaculture and transition. There will be light refreshments and everyone is welcome to attend and have their views heard.

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Cob oven meal

On Saturday 7th November, Pearson Park Wildlife Garden hosted the official launch of their new cob oven. It had been started way back in 2014 and taken several long hard sessions (see 31st May & 11th July) to reach completion, the launch had been eagerly awaited. The team had been sure to let the oven dry out properly over several months before removing the sand dome from within. (click on photos to enlarge).


Community Officer Harriet Linfoot had already fired it up several times in the preceding weeks, so knew the ins and out of the oven. She had spent some time getting it ready during the morning’s wet conditions.

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Morning rain gave way to a bright and breezy afternoon and by the time most people began arriving at 12:30, Harriet had got it up to temperature and ready for baking. She had also brought some home-made dough, as had event organiser Lausanne, along with a selection of toppings for people to try.


The hot embers in the oven were then pushed aside to make way for baking. Harriet then gave us a brief demonstration of how to roll out the dough and decorate the pizza bases, advising us not to over-do it with toppings. She then took her unbaked pizza over to the oven on a peel for baking, semolina being put under it to make sure it didn’t stick. Baking took no longer than 5 minutes, including a turn half way through to ensure of an even bake. As we stood back with eager anticipation, a sizzling cheese and tomato pizza was taken out to all-round approval.

The rest of the group, now ravenous with hunger, then proceeded to roll out and prepare their own pizzas.

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Event organiser Lausanne made sure everyone had been well catered for before being one of the last to get baking. Here she is, sweating over the hot oven – peel in hand baking her pizza, Harriet offering advice.

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Everyone enjoyed their hot lunch in the open air, and it was clean plates all round – not a morsel left! However some pizzas had turned out a little better than others, with one or two toppings being lost to the flames, several pizzas turning out slightly charred and others being served up with a side-portion of ash… but that only added to the fun!

The event was a great success and everyone who attended went home well fed. Thanks to everyone who participated in the construction of the oven and came along for the meal.


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Spring bulb planting session

Autumn’s here and the nights are drawing in. It’s now time to start thinking about planting your bulbs to flower next spring. Why not come down for a social bulb planting session at Constable Street Field, Hull, HU3 3DF. Let’s make the field a riot of colour in 2016. Lausanne Tranter and friends will be there. Call her on 07816 141069 or just turn up on the day. Everyone’s welcome, see you there!  JP


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Cob oven rebuild – stage II

On Saturday 4th July a small group including a permaculture enthusiasts got together to add a final layer of cob to the pizza oven at Pearson Park Wildlife Garden.

It had been 2 months since the first layer of cob bricks had been built (see 31st May) during which time it had been allowed to dry slightly (click on photos to enlarge).

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Having used up all the cob mixture in May, more cob was needed, so the first job was to tread more sand and clay together to the required consistency – a ‘drop’ test ensuring the correct firmness. The four of us then lifted the heavy tarpaulin full of cob over to the oven, and proceeded to cover the bricks with a new layer of roughly one to two inches in thickness. We’d prepared just enough mixture, and the few last handfuls provided a neat finish around the oven entrance.

The outer surface was then smoothed with a combination of hand and spade work, signature handprints being left for posterity by the builders around the back out of view.

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The oven is now to be left for several weeks to dry out properly. The tarpaulin left nearby will be used for rain protection and also to hide it from onlookers who might be tempted to interfere with the oven before it has finished drying. We hope for warm weather to help it dry in readiness for pizza baking later in the year. Many thanks to those who participated.


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Cob oven rebuild – stage I

On Saturday 30th May, a number of volunteers got together and rebuilt the cob work on the pizza oven in Pearson Park. A supportive dome of sand and an inner layer of cob had already been prepared, and about 15 courses of cob bricks were needed to completely cover it. The outside will now be covered with a clay mixture and allowed to dry off for a few weeks before the sand is scooped out and the oven is lit for its first firing. Hopefully we will get some warm, dry weather that will allow the oven to completely dry out.